Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 09:06 am
What I Just Finished Reading
Beguilement (The Sharing Knife #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Bernadette Dunne
Bit of a change of pace from say Chalion, but I enjoyed it anyway. It's a slow, sleepy romance novel, in which the odd demon is killed but the main problems are things like meeting each other's parents and realising that changing names on marriage is a problem when one of you comes from a matrilineal culture and the other from a patrilineal culture (to say nothing of who should make the first move). It's all set in summer in a secondary world version of rural New England (or something of that kind) following the downfall of civilisation. I'll read at least the next one for sure.

(Frankly, if the idea of a romance where the hero is much older and martial, and the heroine is young and domestic is not your thing, don't read this series. I'm fine with it, but I know it drives some people nuts.)


The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin
I think the best compliment that can go to this book is that it didn't let my expectations down. All the complications and ambiguities and history in the first two books are extended and do some extent explained, and I was left feeling content in the ending. I thought it would break my heart, but in the end it was just really, really satisfying.

I loved how the three (four by the end) character plots worked together, and how the many ends of the world tie together and we learn who everyone is. I especially liked Essun's developing relationship with her new comm, and all the characters there. Plus there are a couple set piece scenes that are flat out stunningly written. Should start over from the beginning once I have time.

(I was to some extent reminded of The Book of Phoenix, especially in the backstory segments. Hoa and Phoenix have a lot in common, it turns out.)

(I liked this review for NPR by Amal El-Mohtar.)


What I'm Reading Now
Paper: Cyberpunk: Malaysia edited by Zen Cho, which I've been meaning to get to for ages. First story is good so far.

Audio: Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson. Which I'm also just starting, but the intro was promising.


What I'm Reading Next
Probably Moonglow by Chabon. Or something from the library, depending on the mail.
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 09:04 am
I applied for a position in another department at my company. I'm not particularly interested in their area of focus, but I like the work they do and figured the interview would be less stressful than any other job interview but still good experience. They turned me down, mostly because of my lack of interest, which is totally fine (really!). It was still worth it for the interview (which went remarkably well) and for getting the head of that department even further on board team "echan's f'ing boss, your team would be lucky to have them". He's been on my side for years, so long I actually forgot about him advocating for my current position, but we don't work together much in detail so this turned out to be a good way for him to get more familiar.

I don't actually know what kind of job I want next. I spend a lot of time writing code, scripts and tools that either keep things running automagically or help automate some of the fixes. There's usually something else higher priority though, which is frustrating. Word is that a new position may be 'invented' that's all the code parts of my job and none of the other stuff. I don't know if I'll enjoy writing code /all/ day, but I do know the only reason I haven't applied to join the dev team is the dullness of the products they work on. So t
here's that.
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 11:15 am
Oy, the subway this morning, I can't even. One of the great joys of vacation, even if I'm staying home, as I am this time around, is not having to get on the subway unless I want to, and certainly not during a really screwed up morning rush.

I keep checking FedEx to see if the package with the contracts/check was delivered. By 10:30 they said! But at 11 am, it's still in transit. Sigh. eta: And delivered as of 11:20 am. Whew./eta

Anyway. It's time for what I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished
nothing yet.

What I'm currently reading
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. I'm not finding it quite as compelling as the first two books. spoilers ) I'm about 60% through, so I imagine more terrible things are coming.

What I'm reading next
As always, it's a mystery. I have many things on my iPad, so we'll see what catches my fancy.

***
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 03:34 pm




Title: Verification
Fandom: FAKE
Author: [personal profile] badly_knitted
Characters: JJ, Ted, Janet, Chief Smith, Ryo, Drake, Dee.
Rating: PG
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: It’s all over the news; a cop has fallen to his death while chasing a suspect. The news reports are inconclusive; it could be Ryo or Drake, and JJ is desperate to find out for sure.
Word Count: 2145
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge 201: Amnesty, using Challenge # 43: Not What It Looks Like.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.



Verification... )
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 09:03 am
I think the ONLY thing I managed to read this week was SKIM by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. It was a good, if a bit depressing. I mean things turn around by the end, but getting there was kind of rough.  Read more... )

But, yeah, I don't know what happened to me, otherwise. I started THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE by Claire North, despite the fact that I bounced out of her THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST. I'm not feeling it so far, but I'm also not very far in. I will give it my traditional 50 pages to make or break.  

I know a lot of people who will slog through a book that they've started because they're just that sort: they're completists or stubborn or deeply optimistic (hoping it will turn around at some point!).  With my dyslexia, mild though it may be, I can't do that. If I'm struggling with getting into a book, that slows me down to a crawl and, because I'm also a serial reader, that means I'm not reading anything else.  

So, I've developed a litmus test.  If I'm still enjoying at 50 pages, I'll keep going. If I'm struggling, I'll still give it 50 to change my mind.  I do realize this means there are books I miss because they really pick up after page 150 or whatever, but see above. I just don't have that kind of time. I have give up books later than 50 pages, but 50 seems like a good amount of time for me to get used to a writer's voice or style, in case that's the only thing I'm cold to, you know?

What about you? Are you a stick to it no matter what person? Or do you have some arbitrary number of pages? Or do you just give up whenever? I know that Shawn, for instance, won't even give 50 pages if she decides the book is not for her for any reason. She reads really fast, though, unlike me, and, also unlike me, has several books going at once.  So, giving up on one does NOT necessitate hunting around for the next one (like it does for me.)

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 10:05 am
As promised, this is your last reminder: Sign-ups will be ending today, in about eight hours, at 6 PM EDT (10 PM GMT). This is your last chance to sign up for this challenge, but there is still just a little time left for you to join in the femslash. For details, please refer to the original sign-up post. Leave no femslash behind!
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 09:44 am
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 12:40 pm
For the Talking Meme, from [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1: Since you write a lot of Silver/Liz Shaw fic, which other Doctor Who character would you put into an adventure with them?

I'm not entirely sure I have written a lot of Silver/Liz fic, but to my great joy and pleasure I have somehow caused a lot of Silver/Liz fic to be written, which is the best outcome, really.

(Well, actually, I probably have written a lot of Silver/Liz ficlets - 1 make it 4 out of 11, with 4 authors making up the total - but I would like to point out that most of mine were prompted by Pers, so I'm not sure which of us is mostly to blame for that.* ;-p OTOH, I think all of the others were written for me, so...)

Anyway, Liz/Silver was an accidental pairing that came up in a meme where you sorted your icons and paired them off, with fairly entertaining and improbable results, and then next thing you knew [personal profile] john_amend_all had written a ficlet, and then so had I... and then people were giving me Silver/Liz in [community profile] fandom_stocking and the ship is a thing. \o/


I'm unsure how to answer this question, because this is me. I would put any DW character I felt capable of writing in a fic with Silver and Liz, so narrowing it down is hard!

Three or the Brig would be natural, given Liz's era and both would probably have a lot less patience for Silver than Liz does (in the fic; she is scientifically interested in him, he is a curious part of the universe that naturally she would like to explore), so that would be fun. (I feel Three, finding an Element, would be rather like a human discovering an unexpected rat or something. It'd be at least five episodes later before he could admit that one was okay and actually kind of interesting, he'd have to be locked up in a cell with Jo before he admitted that he found them unnerving, because different Time thingies.) The Brig could end up in a very bemused OT3 situation that he would never ever mention again. It did not happen. Liz humours him kindly. She has some sympathy for being bemused by Elements.

But then there is the whole wide universe of Doctor Who! I wouldn't put Adric in it (it would not be the sort of place Adric would be of any use, unless Silver and Liz needed some mathematical calculations doing, I suppose), and Dodo wouldn't be my first choice, and I can't claim to have watched The Dalek Masterplan enough to write much Katarina or Sara Kingdom, but otherwise the Whoniverse is pretty wide open.

Who do people think would be an interesting/good/hilarious addition to a Liz/Silver (or Liz & Silver fic)?


* Well, all right, me, probably. But Pers is definitely to blame for plenty of other things! ;-p (In the good way.)
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 09:18 am
I'm in general pretty sceptical about the Honours system, but over recent days I've become a believer. The Honours system justifies itself by continuing not to give a knighthood to Geoffrey Boycott and by very properly giving them instead to the likes of Viv Richards, Curtly Ambrose, Wes Hall and Gary Sobers (and why the hell has Clive Lloyd not appeared on that list?), something that has recently prompted the mouthy Yorkshire rhubarb obsessive to observe that the honour was handed out "like confetti" to Windies players and that "Mine’s been turned down twice. I’d better black me face.”

Honestly, it's like a variation on Lewis's law*: Boycs' explanation for why he hasn't been knighted shows why he mustn't be knighted.

However, speaking of white knights, a whole bunch of Boycott supporters have crawled out of the woodwork on twitter, claiming that the only reason their hero hasn't had the respect he deserves is because of that pesky domestic violence conviction from 1998, and after all, that was in France so it barely counts and anyway, she was probably lying.

And since most of them are talking about "new evidence" I thought it was my public duty to do a little gentle fact checking, as a resource for others who may have to deal with these pests.

Read more... )

Anyway, as [personal profile] kalypso and I have known since the early 80s, the block to his knighthood lies not in his domestic violence conviction, his racism, his ban from Test cricket as a result of touring apartheid-era South Africa, his running out of Randall or his all-round painful personality. It lies in the deep dark reason everyone in the know knows, but no-one can talk about.


*"The comments below any article on feminism justify feminism".
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 01:54 am
Wandered across http://thefantasistmag.com/ and found some excellent novellas and short stories, if you like fantasy of varying sorts centering queer characters.
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 03:51 am
I'm here. I read my reading list every day. I just lack anything to say.
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 12:50 am
1. Kinda hectic day today at work, but at least it made the time go by quickly.

2. We had delicious lamb gyros from Hungry Pocket for dinner.

3. I love this pic of tall!Chloe.

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 11:53 pm
So I was over at a friend's this weekend for the eclipse, and my friend has a toddler, which meant watching movies that the toddler likes. Which meant sitting through Hotel Transylvania, which is not a good movie.

Honestly, no, no spoilers, because it was just bad in the most boring of ways. The conceit of "What if we put ~wacky~ stereotypical personalities on classic movie monsters" is not original nor in and of itself funny. The girl object was too good for the boy. Also, it was a movie about a girl coming of age which was entirely about her (possessive) dad and her (new cool laid-back) boyfriend, good times? (No, not good times.) It was screechingly heteronormative in the worst ways and way too into toilet humor and only one of the setpieces was at all entertaining (undercut by the emotional throughline making no damn sense.)

And I just kept thinking, what a waste, y'all! Because it would have been a thousand times better if the girl had been the POV character, if it had been about her. (Oh, and of course the secret present left by her mother was a short little hymn to One True Heterosexual Love. Of course. It wasn't even a GOOD secret. I thought of three that would have been better in the ten seconds it took to read it.)

So yeah. I overempathize with characters in fiction and I really get annoyed doing it when I don't like any aspect of said fiction. Adorable vampire girl in movie that makes no sense, you deserved better.

... Speaking of overempathizing with characters, I read C. E. Murphy's Pride and Prejudice pastiche Magic and Manners today. (I read it in a day. It was engaging.) Magic and Manners doesn't do everything right, but I literally teared up several times while reading it out of feels, so it's either good romance or hormones or both. (Or possibly stress relief from feeling like I'm making progress on things at work? Maybe all three?) There's queerness, there's multiculturalism, there's magic, there's nearly telekinetic castration, it's good times. Recommended.