oliviacirce: (spring//jai)
Olivia ([personal profile] oliviacirce) wrote2017-04-30 12:08 am

a citizen of the city of ideas

For reasons that don't really need exploring at this juncture, I totally failed to post any Cavafy while I was actually in Greece. (Mostly, I couldn't decide what the right poem was, and then I gave up and decided to save him for later.) I want to remedy that now, however, because Cavafy is wonderful.

the stairway of poetry is so steep )
chanter_greenie: a starscape, including a spiral galaxy (on a quest for a jewel)
Chanter ([personal profile] chanter_greenie) wrote in [community profile] 2017revival2017-04-29 08:33 pm

Make with the intro post? Okay. Boing!

Does an intro post appear with a boing! or a foomph! or maybe a sudden cloud of multicolored glitter? Or something else? Uuuuummm... I'm not even sure. :)

Name: Chanter (this has been my online handle in some form or other since roughly 1998, because I am predictable that way)
Age: I was six going on seven when the Soviet Union collapsed, and yes, I remember those events
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Gender: female, pronouns she/her/hers, please

Tumblr/Goodreads/IG/etc: I'm Chanter on AO3. I have a twitter, but I don't tend to give that out quite as readily unless I know you from somewhere, online or offline. It's full of politics and cycling squee.

Describe myself in five sentences/bullet points or less:

Oh, this got unsurprisingly wordy... :)

*Geeky, nerdy, exuberant eccentric who never entirely grew up; the day I am no longer at least partially the daydreaming girl with a desire to travel the stars, something's gone horribly wrong. Radio lady, shortwave, mediumwave and longwave DXer, technician class ham operator with a penchant for old-fashioned CW and SSB, especially on-foot mobile work (call given upon request). Communications officer without a starship, basically.
*MOGAI and proud - I'm a charcoal grey-bisexual verging on ace, a romantic of as-yet uncertain further definition, and a demisensual, which is, as I understand it, a rare variant indeed. Also kinky, but I prefer not to define that variable any further in public space.
*Science fiction, speculative fiction, and lyrical poetry author, currently of the crowdfunded variety. My readership is still much smaller than I'd like!
*Progressive, liberal (in the U.S. use of the term) activist; I fight for justice, but I try not to be the stereotypical, much-maligned SJW.
*Neurodiverse (I don't use this term intending to co-opt it from anyone on the autistic spectrum, and if I've got the wording wrong in an insulting or minimizing way, please tell me and I'll fix it. I'm working from an understanding that there are many ways to be neurodiverse, and I'm quite certain my wiring is not standard for most people.) Diagnosed dysthymic/mild depressive, undiagnosed but very obvious anxiety sufferer, but also a happy multivariety synaesthete. Ears like a bat--or a Sentinel, take your pick--due to decades of heightened use. Nearly totally blind, as in Braille reader and screenreader user, hence the hearing thing, as well as a lifelong musician, reader, orator, culture and language fan, and radio nerd. Hence... the hearing thing! She who has approximately zero chill. She who notices the details everyone else misses, but misses the glaringly obvious.

Top five fandoms: Not sure I'd call myself involved in fandoms in the way that some people out there are, but I'm a fanfic reader and, very occasionally, writer, and some things will forever give me the warm fuzzies even if I don't currently read or write for them. So! Right now I'd say Star Trek (mostly DS9 and TNG), Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, Babylon 5, Band of Brothers, Hamilton, and... I'm going to count both [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's Polychrome Heroics series and [personal profile] aldersprig's Addergoole/Fae Apocalyps series here. Also the original Battlestar Galactica, and... alright, I'll admit, Space Cases. I was the right age in '96, and I fit the profile (see above). Still do. That's far more than 5 fandoms--eek!

I mostly post about: Original writing, local and national politics, daily life, cute kittyness, fandom flailing, and occasionally signal boosts. Once in a while an interesting meme or two.

My last three posts: From least to most recent: The LJ disaster, a new iteration of the ever-circulating cliff/shag/marry meme (aces can play too!), and a daily life post about the convergence of a blood donation and the march for science.

How often I post/comment: I comment on other people's journals much more often than I post, but I'm trying to get better about the posting thing. I've been far too inactive lately. So call it variable for my own posting, and quite frequently for the commenting on others' posts thing.

Not sure if I sound boring, bizarre, or interesting. Hi there, anyhow. :)

Oh, and this may make zero sense to anyone, but if any other former SouCon players are out there and happen to read this post, you are utterly welcome to pounce on me! Please do, even.
copperbadge: (Default)
copperbadge ([personal profile] copperbadge) wrote2017-04-29 10:17 pm

Oh man, I had Pokemon Go running while I was down in Indiana, and I scored an Up-Grade from one of..

Oh man, I had Pokemon Go running while I was down in Indiana, and I scored an Up-Grade from one of the two pokestops between the train station and the Dunes. Apparently the only thing the Up-Grade works on is a Porygon, but I only have one Porygon and I don’t know if I want to evolve it…

DECISIONS. Spark guide my hand. 

(Spark says “You have three Porygon candy. If you’re gonna upgrade it you’re gonna have to walk like a billion miles first. Just FYI.”)

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2phvHcb
via IFTTT
yuuo: (Default)
Yuuo ([personal profile] yuuo) wrote in [community profile] 2017revival2017-04-29 03:55 pm

(no subject)

Name: yuuo/Unoriginality (Unoriginality @ FFnet since 2000; yuuo since 2003 @LJ)
Age: 33 (in two weeks! Scary)
Location: Nebraska, USA
Gender: I'm easy

Describe myself in five sentences bullet points or less:

-Fanfic author for seventeen years now what is wrong with me
-Sometimes a fanartist, but so out of practice it's not even funny
-Mentally ill and unshameable for it (that's a word because I say so)
-GLBTQ+ and not afraid to take you on over it
-Political but I try to keep that to private spaces

Top five fandoms:

-Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 series; manga/Brotherhood were okay, but didn't click with me)
-Marvel Cinematic Universe
-Slayers
-Vision of Escaflowne (was anyone else weirded out by the movie?)
-Legend of Zelda (Since it is currently the end of April in 2017, Breath Of The Wild hasn't been out long and I haven't played it yet so please don't spoil me or I might cry at you)


I mostly post about: So far, no a lot. This will be changing, as I'm going to start talking about my mental illness and such- crossposting from IJ (user name same there as here).

My last three posts:

-Schizohprenia has an awareness week
-Results of a test and shit
-nothing

How often I post/comment:

As often as I can! Since LJ can go bite on a big one, I'm going to make an effort to peek in here at least once a day.

Apparently there was a gif thing, too. So ETA that.

GIF to describe day so far:

spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
Humph ([personal profile] spiralsheep) wrote2017-04-29 09:00 pm

In which there are cabbages and would-be kings

- Brassica flowers and moths, probably Adela reaumurella the green fairy longhorn.

Moth on brassica flowers, probably Adela reaumurella the green longhorn, Worcestershire, 04-17

Brassica flowers, Worcestershire, 04-17

- I'm reading a novel about Space Hobbits, and there're repeated mentions of food, and the author is obviously quite interested in tech and worldbuilding BUT her spacefarers eat rice! Surely tubers, such as potatoes, which will grow in any medium from sand to human waste and will grow packed together in any shape of container and will presumably also grow in zero or low gravity are a more sensible food crop for carbs and starches than rice or any grains which need specific growing mediums (such as separate layers of soil, water, and air!) and room for each stalk to grow individually and presumably also some gravity for TWO differing reasons? I do understand that this is probably not what the author was intending me to think about while reading her story but I shall claim it's because I'm identifying with the Space Hobbit protag and obsessing about food. Anyway, thoughts on grain versus tubers in SPAAAAAACE?

- Reading, books 2017: 34

15. Giant Days vol.4, John Allison and Max Sarin, 2017, comic, not the bestest volume in the series so far but still on outstanding form and I'll be buying volume six. (5/5)

16. Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman, 2007, a comedic novel gently parodying gold and silver age USian superhero comics, with a pov supervillain antagonist as engaging as the pov superheroine protagonist. Includes an excellent feminist joke (populist feminism ftw, obv). The ending reverts to the predictability that inevitably wraps up any plot arc in a monthly superhero comic but I thought the preceding pages earned that side-step. (4/5 a "comic" novel in every possible sense)

• Europeans = supervillains, obv: Supervillains tend to build from scratch, since their technology is way beyond what’s commonly available. So everything’s a little off - screw sizes, voltages - like when you go to Europe.
kshandra: Sinfest character Slick sits at his laptop, poking the keyboard; the words "refresh refresh refresh" hover over his head (5-Minute-Refresh)
kshandra ([personal profile] kshandra) wrote in [community profile] 2017revival2017-04-29 12:20 pm
Entry tags:

Some administrivia for your Saturday morning

(It's still morning somewhere...)

  • Please welcome [personal profile] fragbert66 to the admin team here. He created the original version of this community on LJ, and it seemed silly not to give him the same privileges here.
  • [personal profile] squidgiepdx is hosting a Fandom Community Directory (basically analogous to [personal profile] nanila's username post here). Real Life™ has kept him from updating it for a couple of weeks, but do give it a look, and if there are fandoms you know that aren't represented, help out if you can.
  • ICONS! For those of you new to the DW side of the world, there are a collection of icons on the DW wiki here. I'm currently setting this one as the default for the community, but if anyone wanted to put together a dreamsheep for us, I'd be thrilled. (Bases are available on the [community profile] dreamsheep profile page.)
  • I have nothing else to add that is either relevant or true.

Edited to fix Nanila's username - sorry about that!
onyxlynx: The words "3 weeks 4 Dreamwidth" in white on violet background. (3 Weeks for Dreamwidth)
onyxlynx ([personal profile] onyxlynx) wrote2017-04-29 11:19 am

Threat and Menace

So for the 3 Weeks for Dreamwidth fest, I have stated in two places that I am going to try kicking out an actual paragraph a day, said paragraph to be longer than one line/sentence. If anyone has a topic they'd like me to explore, please leave a comment!
elynne: (Default)
elynne ([personal profile] elynne) wrote in [community profile] 2017revival2017-04-29 08:53 am

(no subject)

Name: elynne, Green, or Sprackraptor, depending on company
Age: 45 (narrows eyes, thinks) yeah, pretty sure that's right
Location: Seattle, WA
Gender: no, thank you

Describe myself in five sentences bullet points or less:
* Lifelong depressive disorder, currently in remission
* Deeply strange on several axes
* Not actually furry, but definitely furry-adjacent
* Household = Spouse, 2 cats, no children (no regrets)
* Currently (and perpetually) under construction

Top five fandoms:
1. Steven Universe
2. Discworld
3. Flight Rising
4. um How It's Made
5. uh (panics) sushi

I mostly post about: SSssssssstttuuuuuuuuffffff. Mostly, I guess, about my life.

My last three posts:
* Exercising, and deciding not to that day
* Finding a WoW guild (still haven't)
* uh...

How often I post/comment: Currently, a couple of times a week. I comment when I feel moved to do so.

GIF to describe day so far: I don't GIF, sorry.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
oursin ([personal profile] oursin) wrote2017-04-29 04:02 pm

She came to stay...

It's just over two years since I wrote these three sentences, intended to be an entire one-off, for 3 weeks for Dreamwidth; and that turned into a world and nearly a million words, still going.

***

And in other business:

As someone who is not a grandparent, but is a retiree, I somewhat resent this suggestion that we are a 'reserve army' that can be despatched about the matter of revivifying villages and rural communities:

He would mobilise the “reserve army of grandads and grannies and retirees” and put them to work on “the cutting of grass, the repair of roads, the feeding of elderly residents, the maintenance of schools, the lopping of branches off dangerous trees”.

One of the by-products of having a fair number of years under one's belt is a tendency to sigh 'what, not another one?', when a book inspired by some famous case or person comes along: I had this sensation myself re a new novel about Lizzie Borden, and Kathryn Hughes rather wearily makes a similar point about latest work on the Victorian mesmerist Elliotson.

I think there is some middle ground between that feeling I sometimes have that 'surely everybody knows that already' about some subject with which I am overfamiliar but which is less well-known to the generality, and that thing I have whinged about before in which 'forgotten' actually means 'I hadn't heard of this/them before'.

spoonorita: (Default)
spoonorita ([personal profile] spoonorita) wrote in [community profile] 2017revival2017-04-29 10:35 am

(no subject)

Name: spoony

Age: 29

Location: Ohio, United States

Tumblr/Goodreads/IG/etc: I have different tumblrs for different things, but you can find me at saixnipples (fandom + main), spoony-draws (art and fic without the whining), and spookyscaryspoonorita (for creepy stuff).

Describe yourself in five sentences or less: I’m an agender human that whines all too much and is far too invested in fandom for my own good. I am an experienced witch, but always open to learning new things. I am socially aware, but not an SJW™ (you know the type I’m talking about).

Top 5 Fandoms: kingdom hearts, steven universe, skyrim, voltron, and i can’t think of a fifth that i’m super into at the moment.

I mostly post about: I like to post fanart and fanfic, but those are sporadic and far between, what with a terrible creative block happening at the moment. I also post random little blurbs about whatever is on my mind, and I whine about retail and rant sometimes. I also post a lot of dark stuff (witchcraft, the paranormal, etc) so if that’s not your cup of tea, then you might not want to follow. This blog is also a dumping ground for relevant info regarding larger writing projects, and those are the only posts that have the possibility of ending up f-locked.

My last three posts were about: occult whining, a sigh of relief after finishing sorting my lj import, and heavily considering building a time machine to beat myself up in 2011.

How often do you post? How about commenting? I left lj/dreamwidth in the dust for several years, but now i’m back and posting a lot, if not daily, then at least every few days.

I don’t comment a lot unless I have something important to say, and if we haven’t interacted before I’m probably going to be a silent lurker for a while. Anxiety is a bitch.

A GIF to describe how your day has been so far:

bibliogramma: (Default)
bibliogramma ([personal profile] bibliogramma) wrote2017-04-29 08:09 am

Max Gladstone: Three Parts Dead


The world of Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence fantasy novels is a unique one, where black magic, religion and law are intertwined, and the practices of both faith and Craft rely on a structure of legal contracts that bind both human and divine energies. There are real gods (though not so many as there once were, since the God Wars) whose obligations to and receipt of devotion from followers are bound by contracts, contracts to grant power in return for worship. Craftsmen and Craftswomen are magician-lawyers who use their own human energies to work magic, and who are called on to execute, negotiate, record, oversee, and when necessary litigate contract issues involving both humans and gods. Using the language of law, with its complexity and precision, to describe and constrain transactions of magical and divine power reminded me of Diane Duane's Young Wizards books, where a kind of symbolic mathematics is used in much the same way.

Three Parts Dead is the first novel written in the universe of the Craft, but not the first chronologically. However, Gladstone informs his readers that the novels can all stand alone - and the fact that he has built such a following of fans while writing the books out of chronological order supports this - so I'm exploring the series in publication order.

Just as Gladstone's Craft universe is a unique blend of magic and law, Three Parts Dead is a fusion of fantasy and the kind of legal thriller one expects from a John Grisham. Criminal investigation, interrogation of witnesses, following up on clues, and courtroom strategies mingle with magicians, gargoyles, vampires and gods.

Kirkus Reviews summarised the basic premise of the novel more succinctly than I could: "The God Kos has died in the city Alt Coulumb, and the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht and Ao has been tasked by the Church to resurrect the god before panic and chaos causes the city to inevitably collapse upon itself. First-year associate Craftswoman Tara Abernathy and her senior-partner boss, Elayne Kevarian, travel to Alt Coulumb to bring the god back to life only to find out that Kos was, in fact, murdered. Tara leads the murder investigation, aided by Abelard, a chain-smoking priest, and his friend Cat, a junkie-cum-policewoman. As the trio navigates the ups and downs of Alt Coulumb, they are immersed in its history, politics and religious system." (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/max-gladstones-delightfully-misleading-three-parts/)

Gladstone's prose sings, carrying the reader deep into his world of gods and Craft. His characters are for the most part strongly realised and well-developed - though the villain of the piece came across as a bit too much of a mustache-twirling megalomanic. The plot is wonderfully twisted, with unexpected turns and sudden reversals and all the trappings of a superior suspense thriller. And the conclusion is quite satisfying. I'm looking forward to further exploration of the Craft Sequence.

supergee: (fat goddess)
Arthur D. Hlavaty ([personal profile] supergee) wrote2017-04-29 05:31 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
the_comfortable_courtesan ([personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan) wrote2017-04-29 10:21 am

I feel the stirrings of a contrivance

'Tis quite high time for me to convoke with Mr Q- concerning my affairs, and he comes call upon me one forenoon with a deal of documents.

Sure all goes exceeding well, I am very far from being brought to ruin. He also tells me that he is in some confidence that Chancery begin bestir about the matter of T-.

Why, says I, 'tis an agreeable thing to hear. I daresay Lady B- mention’d how prepossesst we were with the agent, should be entire happy to put any improvements into his hands, tho’ I have took a thought that Mr S- might go take a look at the place.

Why, says Mr Q-, do you have interest with Mr S- 'twould serve exceeding well. One hears he has quite brought round that fine Hampshire property that Admiral K- inherit’d, that had been a little neglect’d and not brought into the best modern ways of doing things.

'Tis so, says I. But, dear Mr Q-, I wisht ask your advice upon a matter – o, 'tis quite a little thing – but I am sure you would know how I might go about it.

He pats my hand and says he hopes that he will.

So, I open to him the matter of the livery stable and the prospect of its changing hands.

For, says I, at present 'tis exceeding well-manag’d, in good cleanly ways, 'tis a great consideration when one is on the same mews, for one does not desire stinks and flies - he nods – And furthermore, says I, altho’ the fellows that work there are somewhat boisterous in their habits, they are fine hard-working fellows and do not go behave undue coarse towards women – and having several young women in my household, 'tis a concern to me to protect 'em – and I do not hear that there is any hugger-mugger business goes on there – so indeed I find myself in some anxiety that 'twill be sold, and Mr Jupp, that has kept it so well these years, will be out of his place –

I see Mr Q- admiring my fine womanly sensibility over the matter.

Hmm, he says, steepling his fingers and looking at me over 'em. Sure one would need look at the books of the place, but I cannot suppose that a livery stable so very convenient to the Park does not make a very good thing out of it. 'Twould be a prudent investment, I confide.

He hmmms in silence for a little while and says, he dares say he may go discover whether the present owner purposes to sell as 'tis, and how much he expects to get for it. He may intend put it up for auction, but does he have a guarantee’d buyer, may conclude privately.

Why, says I, 'twould be an ideal thing.

He smiles and says he will put one on to the matter quite immediate, gathers up his papers, bows over my hand and says 'tis ever a pleasure to do business with Lady B-.

I have a pleasing consciousness of my affairs being in good hands and that I go about to resolve the problem of the livery stable and what may come to the Jupps.

I go up to the reception room, where my dear musickal friends have been rehearsing for my purpos’d soirée, and are now at a pleasing little nuncheon together. They greet me very effusive, remark upon how fine an occasion was Titus’s wedding, what an excellent young woman is Tibby and must be of the greatest advantage to him that she has such interest.

I say 'tis exceeding pleasing to see 'em unit’d at last for he has had a notion to her since first clappt eyes upon her when he join’d the household.

I can see that this is consider’d most extreme pretty and romantick.

I say to Herr H- that I hear that his sister, Frau P-, has bore a fine son?

Indeed, he says, is nam’d Wolfgang - but 'tis after some late comrade of Herr P-‘s, rather than Mozart.

And that Herr P- takes well to business and is greatly valu’d by Mr K-?

'Tis so, says Herr H- with the hint of a sigh.

Miss McK- snorts and says, what Franz does not say is that Herr P- starts showing very proud and desires rule over the household, thinks they should move to some place more befitting a fellow of his state –

Herr H- sighs and says, 'tis extreme distressing to Mutti, that has grown so fond of our little house. Also he goes treat her as if she were a housekeeper. And is not so kind to Gretchen as should be.

They all look at me, as tho’ I was some strega that might go wave a wand and turn Herr P- into a better husband and son-in-law.

La, says I, while may be better than lying on a sopha pretending to be at death’s door and eating up the household, for I confide he must be bringing in some tidy sum, 'tis sure not ideal conduct, and I will go think upon how one might bring him to some sense of better ways.

Herr H- looks embarrasst, and says he must be going, has a lesson to give, takes up his flute-case and musick-case, and departs.

What he does not say, says Mr G- D-, is that Herr P- thinks he should get a good steady position as a clerk, and doubts not that he has interest to procure him one. For he considers that Franz pursues a career that is both precarious and frivolous.

Fie, says I, he was keeping the family by his flute – well, and his sister’s going out giving German lessons &C – when Herr P- was doing naught but lye around being wait’d upon hand and foot.

Entirely so, says Miss L-. 'Tis not as tho’ he is playing on street-corners with a hat out for coins, is much in demand as a soloist, has a fine connexion for lessons, is a very sober hard-working fellow.

Well, says I, I will go think upon the matter. Sure 'twould have been better had Herr P- gone to the American wilderness and been scalpt by Indians, or perchance eat by bears.

They sigh, and start packing up their musick.

I sigh myself after they have depart’d, for altho’ 'twas entire proper that he marry’d Gretchen H- after beguiling her with his seductions, I could never suppose that he would of a sudden become an ideal husband.

But I must go dress to receive callers, for 'tis my afternoon when I may expect 'em.

When I at last confide that there will be no more, I desire Sophy to put me into my riding habit, and I will go take Jezzie a turn or two about the Park.

There is a deal of company about, for 'tis a fine sunny day even is there somewhat of a chill breeze. Comes trotting up to me the Freiherr von D-, that declares very fulsome that 'tis most delightfull to see Lady B- return’d to Town.

I say I see he still remains in Town and does not return to Bavaria. He laughs somewhat formal and says, why, there are very much worser places one may be sent in the service of one’s king, and sure 'tis a fine city here, tho’, he adds with a sigh, as I surely know, there are those come from Bavaria to reside here in order to plot sedition -

Why, says I with a smile, sure I apprehend that ‘tis so, even do I not store any of 'em in my own cellar.

He gives another bark of laughter, and continues, indeed he has no such suspicions, and the Graf von M- is said to still languish upon his estates very much out of favour (I should most greatly wish to hear what is come to Herr F-, but would not go interrogate direct on the matter).

He then goes on say somewhat of some ball that he and his compatriots go hold, and will send me a card, to which I respond with an amiable smile that I shall be entire delight’d, am I not already bidden elsewhere for the e’en.

(But meanwhile I confide I feel the stirrings of a contrivance.)

In the e’en I have been invit’d to a little supper party that the V-s go hold, at which I confide I shall see Jacob S-, that is in Town about various matters but that I have not yet had a chance to convoke with.

'Tis agreeable to be among this scientifick set, and there is a gentleman goes quiz me quite particular about Vesuvius. La, says I, I do not go bother volcanoes in hopes that they will return the favour and not bother me with some eruption, but a few years since when Lord R- and Mr MacD- came help me with the matter of my late husband’s collection of antiquities - 'tis now in the British Museum - Mr MacD- went climb Vesuvius as one may do – but o, I cry, I see Mr S- and I am exceeding anxious to hear how Mrs S- does.

So I go over and greet Jacob S- very hearty, and desire to know at once how Martha does, and does Deborah flourish? – and he smiles and says, dear Matty is exceeding well, considering, and indeed Deborah goes flourish.

We exchange some news of family and friends – the Admiral has writ most exceeding civil about this matter of his sister’s boy that desires a naval career, can offer him a berth - and then I give a little frown and say, you might know perchance whether there are any of Herr P-'s set from Munich – or am I mistook and was’t Nuremburg? – about Town at present?

Jacob says that tho’ he is not in that set himself, there are certain connexions, by way of family or common interests, and he confides that there are at present some several in exile in this land.

Only, says I, do they desire to go set up their ideal community in the American wilderness I apprehend that Reynaldo di S- does not go advance their purpose – I hear is consider’d a romantick revolutionary hero about Boston and is quite the lion that all desire see, and much admir’d by the young ladies of the place.

Jacob S- laughs and says, 'tis little surprize. But he dares say he may put the word about so that they do not raise their hopes too high.

And then Mrs V- comes solicit us to take a little supper.

oliviacirce: (a rose is a rose//fooish_icons)
Olivia ([personal profile] oliviacirce) wrote2017-04-28 11:25 pm

the soul's wicked cartridge

The first Rita Dove poem I ever posted, way back in 2009, was "Ludwig Van Beethovens' Return to Vienna" from Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009). It's still one of my favorites, and although I've posted a whole lot of Rita Dove in the years since, I haven't been back to Sonata Mulattica since 2010. I bought a copy a couple of years ago, though, and it's time. To tell the truth, I really recommend just going and reading the whole book; but nevertheless, here is another one I love, for some of the same reasons:

Cambridge, Great St. Mary's Church )
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-04-28 08:28 pm
Entry tags:

FMK: The Snow Queen

So, it turns out The Snow Queen is not high fantasy and is a fairy tale AU. Oops.

About the only other things I knew going in was that I had really liked Vinge's Cat books (not actually books about cats, books about a dude named Cat, sorry), that she had at one point been married to Vernor Vinge, and that I was pretty sure that years ago I had heard a rumor that her husband was a total POS.

...turns out that I was unable to find anyone saying anything bad about Mr. Vinge, but her current husband is Mr. Banned-From-Wiscon himself, so apparently I have been thinking poorly of Mr. Vinge for years for no reason. Sorry, sir! See, this is why this stuff needs to be out in the open, not whispers.


Anyway, as for the book itself: it's well-written, I didn't hate any of the characters, the world-building and plot mostly hang together (at least until the very end, anyway), the concepts are interesting, there is no compelling reason I shouldn't have liked it, and yet I never quite managed to get into it. It isn't even that it's not my thing, because it *should* be my thing, and yet )

Anyway, short version: You could probably do a Snow Queen retelling that used the story in a way that worked for me (I should really get my hands on The Raven and the Reindeer) but this was not it; and I would totally read an entire novel about Ngenet and Jerusha (as long as Jerusha got to finally show a tiny bit of minimal competence which she never actually did in the book - a plot line about how she is unfairly treated as incompetent because she's a woman doesn't work if she never actually is competent); and I should have listened to my instincts and run when the summary on the back ended with "...the one man fated to love them both."

...interestingly I also read Makt Myrkranna today (having never read Dracula all the way through) which is also about a pretty, innocent young man who gets lured into the clutches of an ancient powerful beautiful cold devouring woman and her consort, and how his true love traveled across a continent to rescue him and save the world, but somehow I don't have any of the aforementioned complaints about it. A++ worldbuilding, dude does not let heterosexuality make his choices for him, lady makes reasonable choices based on the knowledge she has at the time and caring about him as a human being she is fond of who is in trouble.

I also read Pale Guardian, but I think that's actually the first Ashers book in which nobody ever has to rescue James, so it doesn't quite fit the set.

(eta: no, wait, Simon rescued him at least once in between Simon and Lydia repeatedly rescuing each other, nvm. On a motorbike.)

(I have been sick lying on the couch all day, which is why all the reading suddenly. Also I still have four more library books and two fmk waiting lalala.)
bibliogramma: (Default)
bibliogramma ([personal profile] bibliogramma) wrote2017-04-28 08:52 pm

James S. A. Corey: Leviathan Wakes


Recently, I've been thinking I was probably the only person in sff fandom who hadn't read The Expanse novels by James S. A. Corey (the pen name of writing duo Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) - particularly following the success of the TV series based on them, which I have been watching and enjoying. But then the series showed up on the Hugo nominee list, and the second season of the series ended with some of my favourite characters in really hard-to-wait-for cliffhanger situations, so, I have two very good reasons to read the series.

The first novel in the series, Leviathan Wakes, is an interesting mix of classic space opera, hard-boiled detective noir, and political thriller. Given its beginnings as an MMORPG, it's not surprising that the worldbuilding is complex and detailed. The politics - from the unified Earth government to the rebellious Belter-based OPA - are well developed and realistic, and the places - Earth, a partly terraformed Mars, Lunar settlements, communities of anywhere from thousands to millions of inhabitants wormed into asteroids, and facilities on several of the outer planet moons - are fully realised, distinct entities, with their own characters, cultures, backgrounds and goals.

Navigating all of this is the hardest-luck group of misfit spacers I've seen in a long time. Before we're more than a few chapters in, James Holden, former XO of a belt-based ice-hauler and his faithful companions Naomi, Amos and Alex have had two ships blown to bits around them, inherited a state of the art battleship that's going to make them magnets for risky ventures, and stumbled into a mysterious secret that will tear apart the fragile balance of power of the entire solar system. Later on, they are joined - for a while - by Miller, a cynical cop on the way down obsessed with a missing woman named Julie Mao who just happens to be a key part of the mystery that's haunted - or cursed - Holden and his crew.

That mystery is an alien organic substance capable of manipulating biomass according to its internal programming - whatever that might have been. Seeded inside an icy rock two billion years ago by an unknown civilisation and sent to land on earth for reasons unknown, it ended up instead in orbit around Saturn when its vehicle was captured by gravity and became the satellite that humans would call Phoebe. It is eventually found and exploited by by Protogen Corporation - who named it the protomolecule - who hope to develop it into a salable weapon. Their 'research' ultimately leads to the deaths - or something perhaps worse - of millions of Belter 'test subjects' - among them, Julie Mao - in an attempt to understand and change the protomolecule's programming.

As Holden, his crew, and Miller follow the trail and learn more about the protomolecule and the actions of Protogen, the mission becomes not just keeping all-out war from erupting across the solar system, but protecting humanity from the the alien protomolecule and those who want to use it fir their own purposes.

The plot is tight and full of twists and excitement, the authors take care to seem scientifically plausible, and the action set-pieces are varied and imaginative. Where the book falls down is in characterisation and writing. There are some moments where the essence of the characters shines through, but it's infrequent and inconsistent. And the writing is for the most part pedestrian, at times even a touch clunky.

The story is so far more than enough to keep me reading, and wanting to know where it's all going, but the getting there sometimes feels a bit like slogging. I'm hoping that the later novels will be a bit improved in terms of technique, because I'm hooked on the plot.

owlmoose: (ffx - auron young and old)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2017-04-28 05:16 pm
Entry tags:

FFX: A Guardian's Legacy (2017 edit)

Title: A Guardian's Legacy
Fandom: FFX
Rating: Teen-ish
Wordcount: A lot. Currently at 29/46 chapters.
Characters: Auron, Kinoc, Braska, Jecht, Paine, Baralai, most of the main cast of FFX, lots of OCs. Main pairing is Auron/OC, with a side of Paine/Baralai, and others (particularly Tidus/Yuna) in the background
Spoilers: Yes, lots, for FFX and FFX-2.
Notes: As I mentioned in my monthly writing goals post, I decided to take on a different kind of project this month: cleaning up and reposting an older story that hadn't yet made it onto AO3. Although the posting is only about two-thirds done (I plan to put up two or so more chapters every day until it's done), I finished the big editing pass today, so I thought it would be a good time to share my progress so far.

Summary: The story of Auron -- warrior monk, guardian, legend -- and the family he left behind.

Posted on AO3
oursin: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
oursin ([personal profile] oursin) wrote2017-04-28 07:32 pm

Cynical ol' me thinks this is ponceyness factor

How eBooks lost their shine: 'Kindles now look clunky and unhip'.

Which sounds to me a statement about 'at first it looked cool and cutting edge to have an e-reader, now everybody has one, meh'.

I.e. it's all about the lifestyle statements, which certainly seems to me to emerge like a miasma from all the to-do about books as lovely artefacts and saying something about the person:

#bookstagram, a celebration of the aesthetics of books, where books are the supermodels and where readers and non-readers can see cats and dogs reading books, books photographed in landscapes, books posed with croissants, sprays of flowers, homeware, gravestones and cups of coffee, colour-matched and colour-clashed with outfits, shoes, biscuits and in what can only be described as book fashion shoots. You just can’t do a shelfie with an e-reader.

No, but you can sit down and bloody read the thing, rather than poncing about making design statements.

We are in the same territory, I fear, as those interior designers who consider books as quirky objects and do not see shelves as things which should contain as many books as possible, fie upon your sea-shells and plants and framed photos taking up space.

Why mainstream publishers may be feeling the pinch on ebooks might possibly be because they price them like hardbacks rather than paperbacks. Okay, there are some authors whose latest work I would buy at that price, because I would buy them in hardback when they came out, and I am trying to reduce the number of books that come into the house.

(Stop laughing.)

And somebody please pass a) a sickbag and then b) a large codfish:

Once upon a time, people bought books because they liked reading. Now they buy books because they like books. “All these people are really thinking about how the books are – not just what’s in them, but what they’re like as objects,” says Jennifer Cownie, who runs the beautiful Bookifer website and the Cownifer Instagram, which match books to decorative papers, and who bought a Kindle but hated it. Summerhayes thinks that “people have books in their house as pieces of art”. One of her authors’ forthcoming works features cover art by someone who designs album covers for Elbow.

One is reminded of those arrivistes who bought tastefully bound volumes by the yard to fill up the shelves in the library in the stately mansion they had bought (or had built). NQOSD.