aris_tgd: "Tune your ear to the frequency of despair and cross-reference by the latitude and longitude of a heart in agony." (Lyttle Lytton Spider-Man Agony)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
But between massive high-level incompetence and irritating low-level incompetence I'm not sure I believe it.

So I ordered a thing online, and like many things it was made in India, and it was shipped by Express Mail--and due to shenanigans, if I wanted a tracking number, I had to order it sign-on-delivery.

So I got a message--not from the post office, but from the person I ordered from--that they attempted to deliver on Saturday, didn't get me, and I needed to phone up and figure out what to do next.

Well, I phoned up the USPS, spent something like forty-five minutes on their phone tree, and got a confirmation that they would hold it for delivery at the downtown post office.

... I actually get mail from the westside post office?

When I actually went to the downtown post office, they were also confused. I did convince the postal worker to check the confirmation number, and he confirmed that it was at the westside office... and had been scheduled for redelivery.

So THAT'S annoying. Especially because there's really no way to get over there before I have to be on campus tomorrow (I have to leave around 8:30 to be there in time for our lab prep, with the way the buses run, or I'd drive over first thing.) So I'll have to leave campus early to make it back in time to drive out before the office close, which is of course earlier than the downtown office. Irritating! Not vital, but annoying.

And now it's time to figure out how matrix algebra works, grade, and take a nice hot shower to work on the kink in my back.

World Fantasy Award Nominees

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:11 pm
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
http://www.tor.com/2017/07/26/the-2017-world-fantasy-award-nominees-have-been-announced/

Congrats to all the nominees!

Novel

Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
Roadsouls, Betsy James (Aqueduct)
The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)
Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff (Harper)

Long Fiction

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
“Bloodybones,” Paul F. Olson (Whispered Echoes)
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Short Fiction

“Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Seasons of Glass and Iron,” Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
“Little Widow,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare 9/16)
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me,” Rachael K. Jones (Clockwork Phoenix 5)

Anthology

Clockwork Phoenix 5, Mike Allen, ed. (Mythic Delirium)
Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)
Children of Lovecraft, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Dark Horse)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)
The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)

Collection

Sharp Ends, Joe Abercrombie (Orbit US; Gollancz)
On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, Tina Connolly (Fairwood)
A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)
Vacui Magia, L.S. Johnson (Traversing Z Press)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Ken Liu (Saga; Head of Zeus)

Artist

Greg Bridges
Julie Dillon
Paul Lewin
Jeffrey Alan Love
Victo Ngai

Special Award, Professional

L. Timmel Duchamp, for Aqueduct Press
C.C. Finlay, for editing F&SF
Michael Levy & Farah Mendelsohn, for Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press)
Kelly Link, for contributions to the genre
Joe Monti, for contributions to the genre

Special Award, Non-Professional

Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Neile Graham, for fostering excellence in the genre through her role as Workshop Director, Clarion West
Malcom R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer, for their publication The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume Two: Gods and Goddesses (Michael Publishing)
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny
Brian White, for Fireside Fiction Company


The awards will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention, which this year is November 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/

Headliner guests are Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, Gordon Van Gelder TOASTMASTER: Martha Wells

Catching Up

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:06 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
I went on vacation last week, first actual vacation in a long time. Me, my husband, and two friends went to Galveston Island, which is about a three hour drive away and stayed on the east beach: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163287314212/yesterday-we-got-back-from-three-days-in

We swam everyday, and stood on a sandbar over a hundred yards out in the water and looked at rainstorms out in the gulf. The water was warm in the afternoon, like a giant saltwater spa. We ate a lot of seafood and had margaritas and went out in the harbor in a little boat. It was awesome.

Then yesterday I had jury duty for traffic court, got picked, and everyone there got to tell a mean, angry, scary old white guy clearly used to controlling everything around him that yes, he did have to pay his fine just like everyone else. I don't even know how someone could be this confident in his belief that he can get away with anything, but watching him change his story and lie, and have the woman DA point out the body cam and dash cam video showing he was lying, and Judge Navarro being completely fair yet also bored and unimpressed, and effortlessly cutting off the guy's attempt to rant and swear on the stand. The Judge also made the DA skip over what was probably 20 minutes of video that didn't show anything except that the guy was a terrible person, but believe me, the jury already knew that.

I'm going to try to catch up on book rec posts, and I need to do another Raksura story for my Patreon this month. (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2458567)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
At Readercon, I said that my Twitter usage was basically "open, see if Ursula Vernon has live-tweeted more of reading Swiss Family Robinson, close," and that remains true. But I promised to provide links to various people, and having opened tonight to see that a reading is in progress, I should follow through.

So:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/855253438623625217 (April 20)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/855601923155689472 (April 21)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/855972038800023552 (April 22)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/857428575955419136 (April 26)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/861402977675902977 (May 7)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/861776626996129793 or https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/861805896590143488 and scroll up, it isn't threading properly) (May 8)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/864320654379798530 (May 25)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/868292932406784000 (May 26)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/871216625730674688 (June 4)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/872294427045318656 (June 6)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/878827410568990720 (June 24)

and, now in progress:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/890028466393010177

Enjoy. (I will update this post as needed, to have everything in one place.)
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
"All the Colors You Thought Were Kings" by Arkady Martine [Shimmer]. Heart-stoppingly gorgeous space opera, stars as sharp as knives. I wish I wrote half so well.

This was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

Tomorrow there’ll be ceremonies and presentations, and then your nanite horde will be calibrated for shipside on live broadcast for the entire Fleet to see – another cohort of kids full up with starshine micromechanics, bound to service and obedience, gone off into the stars. You’ve been dreaming about it since you could read. You want it so much you’ve spent the last three months feeling like your chest is going to burn out from longing.

The night after tomorrow, though. You can’t let yourself dream about that.

Under the drape of your overjacket, snugged up to your spine like you’re its best lovecrush, are the disassembled pieces of a sniper rifle. Nestled right at the small of your back is the lead-shielded explosive heart of an electromagnetic pulse bomb.

The Machineries of Tarot

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:51 am
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
For your amusement, hexarchate Tarot readings (coding and spreads by [personal profile] telophase, card meanings by me):
No art right now, just meanings. The 78-card jeng-zai deck corresponds to the traditional Tarot but is specifically a hexarchate Tarot circa Kel Cheris' era. As such, upright sixes are all positive while upright sevens are negative, and the fours are lucky/unlucky.

This site is for entertainment purposes only: neither guarantees nor apologies are given for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any reading you may receive, and no responsibility is taken for any calendrical rot that may ensue. Hopefully you do not live in the hexarchate.
spiralsheep: Sheep wearing an eyepatch (spiralsheep Ram Raider mpfc)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Mr Tummyness goes for a walk.

Mr Tummyness the Faun stumped by a wish tree

postable  Mr Tummyness the Faun with the skeletal petals of winter

- BBC News online feed pull quote, lol: "A 12ft-long python found on the Norfolk Broads has still not been found." Perhaps it's not a python but a news ouroboros? ;-)

- Small political victories making me happy right left now:

1. In the UK the inquest into the death of Sarah Reed #sayhername found that her death in custody was preventable and the result of systemic racism and disablism. The inquest explicitly stated that Sarah Reed should NOT have been in prison, in addition to listing many forms of abusive maltreatment Sarah Reed was subjected to including the deliberate withholding of medication by prison staff. It doesn't give Sarah Reed her life back but this accurate and comprehensive inquest will help her family, especially her mother, and might even ripple outwards to help every Black disabled woman currently being abused by systemic racism and disablism (including by disabled white racists who volubly deny racism exists, and play at respectability politics, while inflicting their racism and the deadly results on Black disabled people).

2. In Poland justice activist Zofia Romaszewska, and mass street protests by ordinary Polish people, persuaded President Andrzej Duda to veto an attempt by the (democratically elected) fascist government of Poland to take control of the judiciary. The EU also protested and threatened sanctions, which is important because that might slow the power grab by fascists in Hungary and the further spread of overt fascism in Europe (which still has too much power and influence over the rest of the world).

3. All those gifs of Sean Spicer stealing a mini-fridge from the White House were 'king lolarious and, no, it's not a *distraction* because people can have fun while simultaneously caring about the srs bznz of resisting fascism.
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

Things I’ve liked recently on the internet:

  • Just today I started listening to Iris Dement. I was raised on country music and can’t believe I missed her entirely til now. This one made me tear up– I feel like I know several people just now who are feeling diminished, but who mean so much to the people who love them.
  • An interview with Atul Gawande by economist Tyler Cowen that’s not in the New Yorker, so maybe you missed it? Has sound (which I haven’t tested) and transcript. I liked this bit:

COWEN: Do you feel you’ve underachieved in life?

GAWANDE: That’s a hard question. [laughs] I know objectively that it’s kind of ridiculous that I would think I’ve underachieved, and that I’m proud of all the random things that I’ve been able to be part of. But I bear a kind of chronic dissatisfaction and sense that I’ve got much more to follow through on than I’ve managed to. So yeah, I think “underachieved” is the wrong word, and yet I don’t feel I’ve achieved nearly enough, and that half of what I’ve achieved, I wish I could go back and fix.

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Illness memoirs, like child abuse memoirs, have a number of pitfalls. They’re about depressing topics and so are hard not to depress the reader, they’re often by people who don’t write professionally and so are not well-written, and as the subject is inherently self-focused, they can very easily come across as self-absorbed. Even if they manage to avoid those problems, many are valuable works of self-help, self-revelation, community-building, comfort, and calls to action… but are not interesting to someone who mostly wants to read a good book.

This one is a good book.

Julie Rehmeyer, a mathematician and science writer, chronicles how chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) crept up on her until her entire life had vanished and she was frequently completely paralyzed. While she desperately tried to find a treatment, she instead encountered an array of quacks, snake oil salesmen, nice but useless therapists, nice but useless doctors, a patients’ community full of apparent crackpots, and medical literature claiming that it was a mental illness caused by, essentially, being lazy and whiny.

In desperation, Rehmeyer finally starts listening to some of the apparent crackpots… and when she applies her scientific training to their ideas, she finds that stripped of the bizarre terminology and excessive exclamation points, they sound surprisingly plausible. With her entire life at a dead end and nothing left to lose, she reluctantly decides to try a treatment which is both radical and distinctly woo-woo sounding.

And it works.

But unlike every other “How I cured/treated my illness by some weird method” memoir, the story doesn’t end there. Instead, she not only researches and theorizes about how and why it might have worked, she interviews scientists and doctors, and even arranges to do a double-blind experiment on herself to see if it’s a real cause of her symptoms or the placebo effect. I cannot applaud this too much. (I was unsurprised to find that every article I read on her book had a comment section claiming that her results were due to the placebo effect.)

Lots of people have suggested that I write about my own horrendous illness, crowd-sourced treatment, and jaw-dropping parade of asshole doctors who told me I was lying, a hypochondriac, or crazy. While you’re waiting… read this book instead. Though it’s not the same disease and she was treated WAY better by doctors, a lot of her experience with being beaten over the head with bad science and diagnoses based purely on sexism was very similar. As is much of her righteous rage. I am way more ragey and less accepting than she is. But still. It’s similar.

Overall, this is a well-written and honest memoir that shines a welcome light on a poorly-understood illness. Rehmeyer's perspective as a science writer provides for clarity, justifiable anger, and humor as she takes apart the morass of bad science, victim-blaming, and snake oil that surrounds chronic fatigue syndrome. It's informative without being dry, easy to read and hard to put down.

Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand

Time wasting

Jul. 24th, 2017 03:22 am
aris_tgd: Whitestar crashing, "And when you fall as Lucifer fell, you fall in flame" (Whitestar Lucifer Fall)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
I got an invite to the closed alpha of Sunless Skies, so when it wouldn't load I decided to take Sunless Sea for a turn and make sure that it wasn't on my end. Turned out there were a few things I could fiddle with to get both of them working properly (Sunless Sea originally wouldn't load, then I looked in its settings and found out that it had been set to a window size of 1280x3. Not 300, 3.)

So... Sunless Sea, man, that's rather addictive.

I now have like five dead zee-captains. Alas, poor... whoever.

My favorite death actually was when I was out of fuel and prayed to one of the gods of the underzee, who decided to drop me in port at Kingeater's Castle, the farthest point on the map. It was obviously somewhere my tiny little steamer Should Not Have Been. And then I got blown to smithereens, which is how most of my adventures have ended.

Still haven't managed to get back to port with those smuggled souls for the Cheery Man, blast it! I managed to pick them up successfully once, but nothing else.

Oh, Sunless Skies? Looks pretty! It hasn't really crashed since I got it to actually run, but there's not much to actually do in it yet. They're still building systems.

In which there is the June Book, 1976

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:49 am
spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
60. June Book, 1976, annual, comic, girls own. (3/5)

• 2-8 & 25-31 Mam'selle X and Operation Danger comic: sabotage and steam engines in occupied France.

• 9-11 Strangest Stories Ever Told (aka The Storyteller &c.) comic: our heroine befriends a tree that is subsequently involved in a fatal accident, made into a sledge, before the sentient and now also mobile tree saves the girl's life, "It's made from Philippa, darling, that's why! Daddy was very clever and sawed strips of wood off her to make it." Randomly set in Canada. SO EXOTIC!

• 12-15 Lucky's Living Doll comic: there are two episodes of this long-running comedy in this annual. Tina, the "living doll", looks after a mum and her baby after they miss the last bus and decide to stay the night in the mysterious invisible stranger's house instead of walking and/or hitching which would be much safer in the real world!

• 16 Just Joking comic: a page of single panel cartoons. I'm planning to post this image whenever anyone mentions "white feminism" from now on. :-D

Is this an uninhabited island? From the June Book annual 1976

Contents and two more scans. )
rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So Sean Spicer's resigned (we all knew it was coming), Sessions discussed the Trump campaign and policy issues with Kisylak in 2016, and Trump looks like he's revving up to fire Mueller and Sessions and then pardon himself and his family for everything they've done ever.

And all I can focus on is this story that Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from junior White House staffers.
roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (ScottPilgrim.Scott - Reversal!)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

V.E. Schwab — A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light

March 6, March ??, and July 10

I plan to head directly into the weeds on this review, but I'll make a brief pit-stop at concision before I hit the road: I definitely recommend the first book of this series. It's fast, bold, and slick — just weird enough to grab your attention (a stacked-worlds cosmology where the only constant is London? What??), and more than competent enough to hold on to it. I'm more ambivalent about the other two books, but A Darker Shade of Magic actually stands alone pretty well anyhow.

Speaking of which, HEY, let's talk about trilogies! There are several different ways to put three book-sized objects in a row, and this series uses what I think might be the worst. I don't have a proper name for it (duologies behaving badly? party in the front, sweatshop in the back?), but it's that same thing Garth Nix did with Sabriel and Lirael/Abhorsen:

  • Start with one standalone, book-shaped book, with tight plotting and characterization and some deep-but-restrained worldbuilding.
  • Follow it with a much larger and more sprawling sequel, arbitrarily split into two volumes. (Book 2 usually ends on a cliffhanger of some kind.)

Recognize it? Contrast with the "three book-shaped books" trilogy or the "one continuous scroll" trilogy, both of which work better.

Part of the problem is just setting up an expectation of book-shaped books and then flubbing it. But I'm also starting to think that two books out of a trilogy is a uniquely awkward and unbalanced story unit, and should be avoided categorically. In all the examples I can think of, the sprawly second story has major plot and pacing issues that didn't afflict the first book and could only be addressed with major story surgery.

In this case, most of book 2 is dedicated to a shōnen manga tournament plot. This is a time-tested device that works really well in a long-running combat-focused comic, because it provides a lower-stakes pause in the main action (during which you can cut to machinations in the background as needed), it's guaranteed to take up a good long chunk of serialized time, and it's a good way to demonstrate how various characters have progressed or not progressed, especially because it lets you pit allies against each other without having to completely deform the story.

But tournaments usually work so well because they take up like an eighth or a tenth of a tremendously long comic. This one is like a quarter of the damn trilogy, and while yes, it's cool to see how badass Lila is now, it basically shoots the pacing all to hell.

Also affecting the pacing: The villain of the second story seems to spend an inordinate amount of time just twiddling his thumbs out in the distance. And he's just a lot less interesting than the confluence of villainies in the first book! He kind of sucks, tbh. (Note that I had this same beef with Lirael/Abhorsen. Is this a weird secondary effect of the structure?)

I had some other plot beefs. There's a death in book 3 that just kind of comes from someone acting out of character for no good reason, plus a few other things... not gonna go super deep into this, it just felt like things generally got a little sloppy.

Finally, there's a central character unironically named "Alucard," even though the only proper use of that name is to tell the reader with a big fat wink that this is Dracula's depressed son. (This story has nothing to do with Draculas, and IDEK how Schwab managed to not realize what she was doing there. Are there truly people who Don't Castlevania?? [yes])

IDK. I did enjoy the second book quite a bit, but it's not a complete unit, and I got bored partway through book three and just put it down for several months to read other things. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but it's flawed and uneven compared to book 1's mirror-bright polish.

Martha Wells — The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red

May 7

Yay, new Martha Wells! Spoiler, I liked it.

This had a more-than-passing resemblance to her short-lived Emilie series — it's more stripped-down than a lot of her other books, with more straightforward plotting and a more parsimonious approach to characterization for the supporting cast (not flat, but with most of the depth gestured rather than rendered, if that makes sense). It's an old-fashioned sort of feel, and one that suits both series' niches (Emilie was a deliberately retro pre-"YA" subgenre of youth lit, and Murderbot is a novella, which is sort of a coelacanth format just now coming out of a long hibernation).

Anyway, this is short and enjoyable and cheap (in its native ebook form, at least; the "tor.com" imprint has been publishing pretty nice tpbs of their novellas, but they're so overpriced that I get the impression we're not actually meant to buy them), and you should check it out.

Re: recent comments about how to structure a series: this is definitely the start of a larger story (note the beautiful last-minute left turn to avoid "happy ending"), but it's nicely contained, setting the stage for a next bit without any cliff-dangling. Which, again, I always greatly appreciate.

Jason Turner — Fir Valley (comics)

July 13

I liked this! It used this really aggressive POV shifting to get kind of a cubist every-angle-at-once view of the town of Fir Valley. And the town felt pretty legit; idk, I was reading this at the same time as Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, and they both do interesting things with the, like, sensation of being in the Pacific Northwest.

Tonally, this was all over the place in a way I kind of loved. Gruesome murder, young people making music, ghostly conspirators with animal heads, drunken idiocy, all kinds of stuff in here, and all presented with this kind of goofy big-hearted cheer? Turner has cited Twin Peaks as an influence here, and I can definitely see it. He isn't following Lynch's aesthetic, but the method seems familiar.

Anna-Marie McLemore — When the Moon Was Ours

June 11

I liked this, but I don't really feel like talking about it. It was good.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Having seen Angels in America live (Boston, November 1995, first national tour) and on screen, this Thursday I split the difference and saw the currently-running London production on tape-delay live-stream in a movie theater. (Part one, that is; part two is this Thursday.) I don't love it but it's interesting to see the staging. Also Kushner has, per the intro to the combined ebook version I have but hadn't read until now, made unspecified changes to part two, so I will be reading that before Thursday so I won't be distracted while watching. (While I only skimmed part one, the only difference I saw between the text and this production was the dropping of the homeless woman's jokes.)

Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )

There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.
kate_nepveu: Ed and (armored) Al standing together in snow (Fullmetal Alchemist)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So yeah, trying to interleave FMA & FMA:B was not a good call. With the possible exception of FMA 9 (still coming on my schedule), just skipping the first episode of FMA:B would have done fine.

Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

FMA 3, 'Mother' )

FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )

FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )

FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )

FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )

FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )
spiralsheep: A raven (spiralsheep Raven Logo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Beloved of small children, canines, and corvids: two jackdaws watching me sitting on a wall, because apparently I'm more interesting than all the tourists dropping food a couple of hundred metres away (i.e. within the same birds' territory). I admire the daylight while midnight watches me....

Jackdaw curiosity, Lands End, Cornwall 05-17

- Third book in a row with a shack: "I didn't know then that the crooks were still quite near... hiding in a shack down a side turning." [Note: it's a shed in a European town, 1974.]

- Reading, books 2017: 70

59. The Wolves of Normality, Foyle Young Poets of the Year anthology, 2016, poetry. (?/5)

How to be a patriot, by Sophia Carney (full poem)

1. Plate your pain with reinforced steel;
fit it with tire treads and arm

it with the revolver you keep
in the kitchen cabinet next to the Coco Pops.

2. Exhibit your pride;
curate it like a museum display.

Soak the constitution in formaldehyde
that sticks the imperatives to the page.

Program the X-ray machine at the door to record
the shade of the visitors' skin
in hexadecimal.

3. Press the flag flat.

Turn it to a freeze-frame
between two Perspex sheets labelled
DO NOT TOUCH.

4. Neglect to mention the pixels of
blood that appear
under UV light and human scrutiny.

vid recs?

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:39 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
ETA: And if anyone knows where on earth I can find an Angel S4 AU vid to Will Smith's "Black Suits Comin'" I will be eternally grateful. (I can't remember the vidder, which is making this difficult to Google.) Also a Buffy/Angel shipper vid to Darren Hayes' "Insatiable," likewise apparently impossible to Google without the vidder's name.

I have gotten out of the habit of chasing down fan vids and would like to download some to my laptop for enjoyment purposes. I find them to be a lovely pick-me-up--they don't necessarily have to be cheerful vids. But I probably can't deal with extreme gore or realistic violence (I've seen half an extremely well done Hannibal vid that I had to nope out of because I am chicken).

Some vids already in my collection that I really like, to give you an idea (in no particular order):
- [personal profile] bironic's "Starships"
- bopradar's "I Kissed a Girl"
- Lithium Doll's "All These Things"
- [personal profile] laurashapiro's "Ing"
- [personal profile] giandujakiss's "A Charming Man"
- obsessive24's "Cuckoo" and "Remember the Name"
- [personal profile] shati's "Hope on Fire"
- sisabet's "Cowboy" and "Two Words"

Fandoms I especially like watching/or have some clue about:
- Buffyverse
- Firefly
- I like the visuals of Game of Thrones although I've only watched one episode (have read most of the extant books, though)
- Leverage
- Arrow
- The Good Place
- recent Star Wars
- The Great Queen Seondeok
- Suits
- The Good Wife

That being said, if the vid can be understood without having seen the show, I'm happy to watch it. :)
roadrunnertwice: Yoshimori from Kekkaishi, with his beverage of choice. (Kekkaishi.Yoshimori - Coffee milk)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

Eleanor Davis — How to be Happy

April 10

This is a collection of Davis' short comics, which are all over the place in style, length, and media. Davis is a really good cartoonist, and her more out-there art styles (the spindle-legged huge-torso look) are legit unique — the sort of thing that shouldn't work nearly as well as it does.

I liked these shorts; they felt like they were holding me at arm's length a lot of the time, but they did unexpected stuff and followed through on their swing. And Davis' cartooning is real engaging even when you're not really feeling a given story.

Books I stopped reading: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter — The Long Earth

April 2X

I stopped reading this about a third of the way through, because it lacked all of the things I'm looking for when I pick up a Terry Pratchett book.

John Darnielle — Universal Harvester

June 24

To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out what I think of this one. I was very much not satisfied at the end, and I'm trying to decide how much of that was the whole point, and how much of it was JD's reach exceeding his grasp this time. I might end up not deciding.

This had certain rewards anyway, despite the way it trailed off in the back third or so. There's this kind of roaring hollowness behind every paragraph that I feel really fuckin' nails why I find rural and small-town America scary, and not jump-scare scary but existential dread scary. JD was onto something here, and it's pretty compelling for a while. But it seems like an unfinished thought, and I put the book down with the sensation that someone had walked out of the room in the middle of a sentence and was not going to come back.

Again, it's possible that was the point.

Italo Calvino — Invisible Cities

May 9

Whoa, this was great! Not quite a novel, not quite short stories, more just an expanding fabric of disorienting oddness. A glitchville sort of vibe that reminded me of the last section of Kalpa Imperial, or maybe (faintly?) of Vellum? I feel like I can't quite dig up the thing it reminds me most of, which is very on-brand for this, now that I think of it.

Lars Brown — North World, vol. 1 (comics)

July 18

This had its charms, but maybe not enough of them. I don't feel the need to read more of it.

It feels like it belongs to a very very particular era — that bit in the late '00s, where mixing elements of classic video game settings with more prosaic character drama was having a moment? Scott Pilgrim kind of kicked it off and did it best, but there were a lot of others; some were blatantly following the trend, but I feel like a whole bunch of them were legit convergent evolution. Stories their authors wanted to do anyway, and which happened to be ready to go when the commercial moment arrived. Like, old games are responsible for a lot of the foundational metaphors by which my generation understands life, and of course we're going to work through that in our art.

Anyway, what I really liked about this comic were the settings — the city streets and markets and shops and houses and apartments. Brown's approach went something like: assume this big dumbass JRPG world, then focus on what people actually do from hour to hour and try to make everything feel really lived-in. It was great, a cool mix of... how to describe this. How about "conflicting familiarities." Which is kind of the whole raison d'être of this subgenre, right? The dissonance between our too-many methods of making sense of the world, which went from an idle preoccupation to an emergency when we realized the social and economic structures we were supposed to be "growing up" into had been devastated pretty much beyond repair well before we arrived? Yeah.

Oh right, back to the comic. Setting good, plot totally forgettable. Character writing ok, but nothing I was really connecting with. I kind of need at least two out of three to keep investing in something, so I'm out.

Hamilkitties!

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:09 pm
rachelmanija: (It was a monkey!)
[personal profile] rachelmanija


Curious Alex.





Erin, waiting for it.

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