I mentioned the highly inappropriate and intrusive query about my black eye some while since.
And I particularly noted this comment as being relevant to my experience:
And how would you feel if random strangers kept asking what your hairstyle means, since you choose to go out in public with it so you must expect reactions in public?
Or, the question I get, 'why is your hair green?'
To which I could respond 'OMG, it's green!!??? thanks for letting me know'.
Or I could make a very niche literary reference to one-time shocking bestseller, Michael Arlen's The Green Hat (1924), and say 'Pour le sport, like Iris Storm's hat'.
Or I could just say, and sometimes do, 'Why not?'.
O maybe it's just my personal response to this apparent Thing: Do or dye: why women daren’t go grey, given that, actually I spent a couple of decades getting greyer and greyer and so what, and then I discovered neon-green hair mascara, and a few streaks in my coiffure of this very unnatural colour is an entirely different thing to having my tresses tinted some other shade.
And so far no-one has been hailing me to prison for the colour of my hair.
On top of my three panels and a reading, I’ll now also be on Paul Cornell’s Only A Moment quiz panel on Saturday night at Nine Worlds. It’s a take-off of a well-known British radio and TV show. You’re supposed to talk for one minute on a topic given to you without hesitation, deviation or repetition. Those are my three greatest strengths in conversation! Updated full schedule here — do come and watch my inevitable downfall.
Thanks to everyone who’s ordered copies of SPIRITS ABROAD and CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA for receipt at Nine Worlds. I’ll be there from Friday and will try to set aside some time per day to just sit in the lobby or another easy-to-find public area with the books, so people can come pick them up from me. I’ll say where I am on Twitter, so keep an eye on that. I’ll also contact pre-orderers directly.
The books will be available in the dealers’ room for those who haven’t pre-ordered. Each will come with a SORCERER TO THE CROWN postcard inside it, like this:
I haven’t got that many of these, but if you catch me at the con and would like a postcard, just ask — I might have a few left!
Sorcerer to the Crown limited first editions
Fabulous first edition bookshop Goldsboro Books is going to be stocking a limited edition of SORCERER TO THE CROWN! It will be hardcover, signed and numbered and will have SPRAYED EDGES. (If you don’t know what sprayed edges are, this great Hodderscape post on the physical make-up of a book will tell you.)
I have to say that I am personally a practical ebook/mass market paperback sort of person: small, affordable, portable paperbacks are the books I grew up on, and I’ve only started buying hardcovers recently to support people I know. It’s kind of dumb because I then end up not reading them, since my only real reading time nowadays is on my commute and I am already mean enough to my back and shoulders, not to haul around the sort of tome my friends and acquaintances produce. (THANKS, KEN LIU.)
But it is very exciting to think that SORCERER will have sprayed edges, and having seen the cover proof, I can tell you with confidence that the book is going to be a beautiful object — whatever you think of its contents! There will be only 250 copies of the limited edition. You can pre-order one here.
Mirrored from Zen Cho.
But: I liked No Award better than Three-Body Problem for the Hugo, 3BP better than Ancillary Sword for the Hugo, AS better than The Goblin Emperor for the Hugo... and TGE better than No Award. (Note that this does not correlate with how well I liked the book or how well I thought it was written; TGE wins easily on both those counts.) So, I dunno. I ended up voting them all under No Award, because I am a crotchety grumpy sort of person who feels The Hugos Are Not What They Used To Be And Darn Kids Get Offa My Lawn, but it was a very close thing. Probably if I'd had another day I would have switched them all above No Award, and if I'd had two more days back under.
2. I had Lots of Opinions about Fringe S5, and then sprocket noted that it was Walter fanfic, and then I got All My Opinions out about it here. (It's honestly a little uneven, because I was writing it while watching the episodes, only later going back to try to make it into a coherent whole. And... that's as good a metaphor for Fringe as any other, I think.)
Meanwhile, Gencon last day was pretty chill. I had no events and only lizardsitting duty for a bit.
Final account of damage done:
- L5R fancy box thing containing some boosters (Twenty Festivals and something else) and a pretty playmat
- a fancy tin box full of L5R boosters from the latest expansion (they were sold out of starters, which is awesome, but I'd ordered Crab, Crane, and Unicorn starters that should be awaiting us at home, so I'm not concerned)
- a Hida O-Ushi inexperienced playmat by Steve Argyle (I have a copy of the card and I love that piece--last year at his booth I asked if they had a playmat of that particular piece and that time they didn't have any, so I was thrilled they had her this time!)
- a Hida Kisada (Little Bear) playmat by Drew Baker, because Joe plays Crab and that's also a great piece of art :)
- a Tony DiTerlizzi RPG art book, which I figured was going to be the best value for money if I wanted to feast my eyes on much DiTerlizzi art (I loved his work on Planecape). I didn't attempt to get it signed because I hate standing in lines and I figured that by buying the book I had already supported the artist.
- a print by Nen, as mentioned in earlier report.
- a two-player playmat with a dragon on one side and an extremely regal lady on a throne on the other side.
- a book on violence and war as depicted in the media. No clue if it'll be any good, but we'll see.
- a BADASS RAVEN PUPPET. It's bigger than my head. Photographic proof to follow, I promise. They had a fox puppet as well, but OMG THE RAVEN. I figure that raven can take out a regiment of foxes without even noticing. I will call her Cheris Experienced.
- A Roy Mustang and a Scar deck for the Fullmetal Alchemist TCG.
- A couple decks for the Horus Heresy (Warhammer 40k) CCG, out of curiosity. I have no idea if the art is good or the game is either, but it was cheap.
...I may have done some damage. Joe bought Pathfinder books out of guilt after the amount of Pathfinder the lizard played, plus some Battletech mini thing. Yune bought the lizard a three-headed dragon puppet. It is adorablesauce. Apparently they were shopping for a fox for the lizard but when the lizard saw the three-headed dragon, she threw over the fox for the dragon. (I would too if the foxes wouldn't stab me in the back for disloyalty.) Yune said she had to choose wisely as she wasn't getting both fox and dragon. It's a great dragon. =)
Food: ate at Ruth's Chris to celebrate stuff and that was excellent, including the carrot cake and crême brulée we got to go because my sister decided to double down on desserts but we were too full to eat it there. (They were delicious.) I had the 6-oz. filet and liked it very much. Then ate at Shula's, which is apparently a steakhouse founded by a...former football player? I was pleased by the scallops, I was going to like the asparagus with Hollandaise sauce no matter what, and the service was great. Room service may also have happened one lunch. I skipped lunch today because I was too sleepy and then the dice decided for us that we were going to get Thai for dinner. I had Thai iced tea and pad Thai because I'm boring that way, but I love both. Yune had an elaborate pineapple fried rice, and Joe amused the restaurant people by requesting extra of the Very Spicy Pepper to add to his masaman curry.
This has been a great vacation. I got a tiny bit of coding done. And then I will go home and there will be a very furry, needy cat and I can sleep in and then I will have to get more coding done. We fly home tomorrow, and I plan on taking the rest of the day to recover, especially since it will also be our thirteenth wedding anniversary and I don't believe in tempting fate on calendrically significant dates.
I’m very much a creature of habit. As I have mentioned before, I like to make plans and I’m usually good about sticking to them. Almost from the very beginning, blog posts have gone up here at Earl Grey Editing on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Australian time) like clockwork. But sometimes things need to change.
Recently, I sat down to take a look over the schedule for the remainder of 2015. It was already looking pretty full and I needed to make space for a particular post in August. Try as I might, I couldn’t squeeze it in. There’s a lot of interesting things happening this month. The only way to fit it all in was to start posting three times a week.
So, for the duration of August, posts will be going up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (Australian time). This won’t be a permanent change. Having said that, there are some weeks when I’d like to be able to post a little more often. Once August is over, posts will remain on Mondays and Fridays, with the occasional Wednesday post when things get busy.
I’ll admit I have no idea how this little experiment is going to go, but I hope you’ll join me in finding out.
Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.
(Inauguration of the new cooker)
Saturday breakfast rolls: brown grated apple (3:2 strong white: wholemeal flour), with maple syrup and ginger.
Today's lunch: pheasant oven-roasted in foil with lime and ginger; with asparagus and bell bell peppers roasted in olive oil, padron peppers, and sticky rice with lime leaves.
Bread: maybe tomorrow.
How about Astronaut Wives Club? I liked the book, and find the whole Mercury program culture really interesting, but can see so many ways it could go badly. Plus making a tv show about real people who are mostly still alive seems kind odd.
Finally gave up on The True Story of Canada's War of Extermination on the Pacific by Tom Swanky
This book is on a really important topic, but it's so poorly written and organised that you're more or less better off reading the summary and moving on.
The text skips between years and narrative threads at random, and leaves all in confusion in its wake. This is absolutely not helped by the author mixing commentary in with retelling, and never failing to use ten words and a flowery metaphor when two words would cover it.
It seems to be self-published, which is too bad, because the research is there, and with a decent editor, this could have been a really important book.
The short version is: when the Hudson's Bay Company discovered gold in the BC interior, they and/or their agents deliberately spread smallpox to make the land grab easier. The BC government at the time was up to its neck in all this, and judicially murdered anyone who had a problem with it, never mind that there was no treaty and they had no legal authority over anyone. I already knew this, but would have liked more details, and it was really frustrating to deal with a book that promised them and then kept tripping on itself. I just want it told start to finish in a readable manner. I also wanted a book that I could point to as a good source of BC history from a First Nations perspective. Oh well, another time, hopefully.
Listened to three Doctor Who: Companion Chronicles, which are short two-hander audio plays told from the PoV of various side characters.
3.11. "The Mahogany Murderers" by Andy Lane, with Jago and Litefoot, who were from some Four saga I haven't seen, but have taken off as stars of their own series. It's sort of an Odd Couple Victorian Adventure, and is fun for what it is, but I kind of don't need more Victorian Dudes, and didn't find it as good as The Scaryfiers which is more or less doing the same thing (in the 1930s), so may pass on following it up.
5.03. "Find and Replace" by Paul Magrs, with Jo Grant and Iris Wildthyme. The joke is that they're both played by Katy Manning, but the success of the play is that it never actually makes that joke, even in a nod nod wink wink kind of way. Also, it's a really sweet adventure that has some nice bits with Three and has Iris as a savvy operator and massive troll. It also stars Jo as happy in her own choices and loving her life with the Doctor, but not bitter or regretful that she's not with him anymore.
8.11. "The Elixir of Doom" by Paul Magrs, with Jo Grant and Iris Wildthyme. Same as the last one, but with Eight instead of Three. Sadly, we don't have Jo and Eight interacting because Iris keeps heading him of in case he tries to steal her assistant. I really liked the interaction between Iris and Jo, and how Iris keeps sort of sliding into heroism. Also interesting notes about class issues on Gallifrey. Katy Manning is adorable and talented, but she cannot do an American accent.
Definitely going to listen to more of these. What Companion Chronicles do you rec?
A District Four-centric look at the decade or so before Katniss. Mags is plotting sedition. Finnick is selling his body in the Capitol to get classified information for her. Annie's struggling to build a life with PTSD. Johanna's fighting back every way she can against the world she lives in. And Cashmere is learning that Career training in District One is geared toward producing Hunger Games victors, not well-adjusted adults.
I'm just hoping to get it DONE by November 20, which is when Mockingjay 2 comes out.
Yes, that's right, I'm still avoiding spoilers. Still have not read the book or seen Mockingjay 1. Still have not engaged in fandom, read fanfic, or anything of the sort.
Merely written a 105,000 word fic, and started a sequel that I'll probably never finish because it's too open-ended and I'll lose interest before I figure out how the plot goes. But I want to finish it, because it's got all these important character development trajectories. Especially one that doesn't make sense in the first fic, but is immensely satisfying (to me) in the sequel and is my primary motivation for writing it at this point.
So yes. 41 weeks down, 15 to go!
As for Piper as the original pov character, I can see where she'd draw fannish ire (she's white, rich, privileged and pretty selfish), but the story is aware of her flaws (which btw don't make her worse than anyone else, either), and doesn't make anyone else suffer for her education. (She partly learns through their stories, which isn't the same thing.) Basically, she works in the first season narrative as a guide for the audience to meet everyone else in the ensemble. Sometimes the show uses Piper to reflect audience expectations and changes back on them, as when ( spoilery things happen )
The only actor who was instantly familiar to me was Kate Mulgrew, who plays Red the chef, but I was impressed by everyone. Especially by the actress playing Miss Claudette, Michelle Hurst, who does a lot just with facial expression and her eyes. ( Spoilery comment to follow. ) Not surprisingly, the very messed up mother-daughter relationship of Aleida and Daya (I hope the spelling is right) captured me. My favourite friendship was perhaps between Sophia the transwoman and the incarcareted nun, which was delightfully surprising and relaxed and good for them. Speaking of Sophia, I also appreciated the show didn't shy away from the struggle of or conversely demonize her wife from her pre-op life who fell in love with a man and has her own emotional struggle going on despite being basically supportive, not to mention that now Sophia is in prison she has to raise their son Michael alone. (In some other fictional stories involving trans characters I've watched, family members are either vicious and not understanding or completely and seemingly effortlessly supportive.)
Speaking of tropes associated with prison stories, in the first season the backstories as revealed so far avoid letting all the characters be innocent and/or in prison for a sympathetic crime. (This includes Piper who did do the action she's in prison for, and while early on seeing herself manipulated into it later comes to realise she's avoided taking responsibility for anything all her life.) Though the backstories are all illuminating, with the exception of the only inmate who remained on the cliché side for me. ( Spoilers don't doubt such people exist, but in a fiction where everyone else is more complicated... ) Everyone else, though, is great, and the show is a good example of how you can explain without excusing. Take Alex, who is a drug dealer. ( Spoilery things the show does with Alex. )
There's a lot of humor in the show, but it also makes its tragedies cut deeply. I've come to care about all these people, and will definitely continue watching.
What Katy Did thrilled Jacqueline Wilson when she was growing up but the attitudes to disability left something to be desired. And that’s why the author of Tracey Beaker and Hetty Feather has written a modern version.
I didn’t want any sudden unlikely miracle cures for my Katy. She’d have to learn to lead a very different life now. She wouldn’t need to be saintly – she’d need to be tough if she was going to cope.
Because, do admit, the bit where protags (and this is not unique to Katy Carr) get up and walk after they Have Learnt A Valuable Moral Lesson -
- yes, well.
Maybe rebooting some much loved story is less about making it gritty and dystopian* than by looking at those problematic messages and working against that grain.
*Okay, I still relish the inventiveness of my dr rdrz about Pooh sequels that didn't happen but should have.
Guess who gets to do the manual labor!
Pics of our work-in-progress at tumblr.
I discovered that while I don't enjoy yard work per se, it stimulates the endorphins of physical exercise, which I need on a regular basis, and the dopamine of making concrete progress on projects, which I'm addicted to. So I kept going back, even though nobody was putting me under any pressure.
Them: "Oh, I wish I had ____ in the garden. But I can't do it myself."
Me: "I will do it!"
Them: "You don't have to. And you don't even like yard work."
Me: "But endorphins! And dopamine!"
All the destruction work for this year is done now, so I have moved on to the next project.
Now just waiting on my stepdaughter's. She's still jumping through hoops, because she didn't keep her medical records from Brazil, so she's having to get all the shots and exams again. My wife *also* didn't keep her records, but it was my stepdaughter who applied for a work permit and then had to get a review of all her documents when they misspelled her name, so we think they looked more closely into her documents and noticed a discrepancy. Then everything snowballed.
Cross your fingers for her. She really just wanted a work permit, but despite applying for one--I think in April?--still probably would have gotten the green card first. Now her green card's delayed because of all the mess. Ugh.
I do not want to learn how many ways I can fuck up an Arduino to accomplish this! I don't have the energy for that right now. I just want to get the thing and set it up and watch my cat pacing suspiciously around a robot that's stuck in the corner.
So! Great news everybody! EXPOSURES ISN'T THE WORST THING I'VE EVER WRITTEN ANYMORE. :D
Yeah, I'll just leave this here. We never have to speak of it, it's fine.
Now That the War Is Through with Me (810 words) by Dira Sudis
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel), James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Mercy Killing, HYDRA Trash Party, hydratrashmeme, Dead Dove: Do Not Eat
"I know your creed. You should go outside now."