sixbeforelunch: jyn erso and cassian andor, no text (star ward - jyn and cassian)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
...but The Force Awakens was amazing.

Now I want to rewatch the original trilogy.

(I am so screwed.)

Things read, watched and heard

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:05 am
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
Recently read
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I've seen the series mentioned all over the place, so I went in expecting to enjoy it more than I did (it's not really my genre). Some pivotal plot developments happened offscreen in a way I found frustrating, and the unreliable narrator thing didn't work for me, but mostly I felt it (necessarily) didn't have strong enough relationships for me to care very much.

Every Day and Another Day by David Levithan. The first is about a 16yo person who jumps into a different 16yo body each day, spending midnight to midnight in their host's life before moving on to the next one. And then they fall in love, and it all gets complicated. I enjoyed this -- it felt tropey in an interesting way, and I liked how it dealt with gender. (Warning for unexpected fat-shaming, though.) The second is a remix -- the same story from the fallen-in-love-with girl's POV. It was fine? There's a lot of repetition between the two, and I wanted the ending of Another Day to give me more.

Reading next
Probably the new Natasha Pulley, The Bedlam Stacks. Plus mergatrude has been luring me with Combeferre/Enjolras/Grantaire Les Mis recs.

Recently watched Kdramas
Finished Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. The last six episodes were pure candyfloss and sparkles, and I enjoyed them tremendously (and hardly cried at all!). Almost nothing happened! (There was half an episode dedicated to the trauma of having a pimple on one's nose, and resulting shenanigans.) This show has leapt into my top 10 Kdramas.

Still watching Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, which is tonally ALL OVER THE PLACE, and rewatching Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. Just started Capital Scandal (2007), set in the 1930s during the Japanese occupation. So far it's very confusing, but first episodes are often like that.

Other TV
We're a few episodes into You Me Her, a Netflix show about a m/f married couple who mutually (and rather awkwardly) fall in love with a female escort. It's a little cringey in the way that's currently fashionable for TV light-dramas, but I'm enjoying it despite that. The guy is played by Amy Poehler's brother.

Films
The NZ film festival is about to start. I've bought tickets for:
- a Turkish documentary about the cats of Istanbul
- an Irish documentary about the Voyager spacecraft
- a South Korean drama set in France, called Claire's Camera (no relation to Claire's Hat, as far as I know)
- a South Korean drama set (I presume) in Korea, called Yourself and Yours
- a Thai drama about an architect and an elephant, called Pop Aye
- a French drama starring Catherine Deneuve, called The Midwife.

That should help boost my USA vs Other Countries film ratio! I may randomly try to go to other things during the day, depending on weather, availability and organisational oomph.

Also planning to see The Big Sick, Baby Driver, and possibly maybe Atomic Blonde and The Hitman's Bodyguard, if I decide I need some silly action in my life.

Podcasts
Still working our way through NPR's Invisibilia and enjoying it very much. Still keeping up with Fansplaining.

wednesday reads 'n things

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:04 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Text: Empowered: Agent (Empowered, #1) by Dale Ivan Smith, which so far is the best Instafreebie book I've tried (a rather low bar). The world-building is simple but fun; it's not just that Empowered people (that is, people with superhero-type powers) exist, but it's also an alternate history - one in which Richard Nixon prevented a nuclear war from escalating into global destruction "after Washington DC had been destroyed by a Soviet nuke fired from Cuba." (So I guess Kennedy didn't stop the Soviets...) This only shows up incidentally, at least in this book, but I am charmed by Nixon being considered a hero in this universe.

Mat is a good character, an interesting woman with a skill - manipulating growing plants - that is clearly much more useful (and lethal) than anyone gives her credit for. The Hero Council choice of "join us if we can use you, otherwise you must swear to never use your power" seems rather terrible to me, a bit of shoddy world-building but I guess it's needed for the plot. Her choices and actions are reasonable, especially as circumstances paint her into a corner. I like that she has a family she cares about, and I also like the lack of romance (though I suspect one is building).

The writing is okay, not great, though it's mostly free of typos and technically adequate. There are few obvious errors (such as a character being identified by name before Mat would actually know her name) but also few flashes of brilliance. Mostly it's just somewhat flat. I didn't feel particularly pulled along or emotionally invested, and this, plus uneven pacing toward the end, contributed to a general feeling of anticlimax.

Audio: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which was a SYNC offering, and surprisingly enjoyable and novel for dystopian YA. This is set in an alternate future in which the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 led to the need for split-shift staffing of hospitals, a day set and a night set of doctors and nurses, which in turn proved so efficient that the division between day workers and night workers was expanded to all parts of life, formalized and codified and enforced by law. But as daylight living is more natural and presumably more enjoyable, gradually the night people ("Smudges") became stereotyped as stupid, undesirable, lesser than the day people ("Rays") - and it took me until about 3/4 through the book to realize this was a civil rights allegory.

Yes, there is some suspension of disbelief required, but no more than, say, teenagers fighting to the death broadcast on television, or a society discarding all but a hundred selected novels, songs, and films. And what makes this an actually good book is that the plot is legitimately interesting and complex, and goes in unexpected (but foreshadowed) ways. There is a romance, which is somewhat cutesy and predictable, but at least it's not a love triangle - and, speaking of YA tropes, though this is in first person it is in PAST TENSE THANK GOD.

I liked the ending, which is not pat or universally happy, and which leaves a lot of things open-ended for a sequel (or for fanfiction). I would like to have seen a more explicitly "fight the system" plot, with Sol and the other characters actively working to bring the system down - maybe this will be in a subsequent book? Finally, I ship Sol/Gigi la la la and will be nominating this for Yuletide.

The audio version also includes "Noma Girl", a prequel short story which is also available free online. It was a nice fleshing-out of incidents only alluded to in the novel, but there's no new worldbuilding or anything unexpected here. I did like the more sympathetic view of Gigi. I don't think it will make sense if you haven't read the novel.

Webcomic: For some reason I followed a link (from Goodreads, maybe?) to The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E. K. Weaver, which I'd vaguely heard of through osmosis but really didn't know anything about (I didn't realize it was a comic, for one; for some reason I thought it had to do with lesbians) and devoured it over the course of four or five days. It's a gay (m/m, and has some nsfw) roadtrip story in which the title characters get to know each other and find themselves (well, sort of). If you haven't read it, I recommend it! There is a tiny fandom, and I believe the comic was originally posted on LJ as a WIP.

What I'm reading now: Cibola Burn, the fourth Expanse book. So far I'm about 25% in and enjoying it more than the previous book, Abaddon's Gate. Also, wow, apparently all minor characters are gay in this universe, or at least every throwaway line about people being married refers to a same-sex relationship.

What I'm reading next: Now that I'm recommitted to this book series, I've got the next two on my phone.

What I've just finished watching:

Movie: I finally watched Hidden Figures, and it was every bit as awesome as I'd hoped. ♥ My mother was a chemist for the FDA before and during this era, and I realized that at least she had the advantage of being white (though she had the disadvantage of being Jewish). I can't imagine what it must have been like to have both racism and sexism barriers looming so hugely in one's life.

TV: We have finished S2 of The Expanse! I am still a little weirded out by the timelines of book series and show being off from each other. I also thought the Ganymede plot was done better by the show, but the Avasarala and Bobbie plot was done better in the books.

What I'm watching next: Nothing for a while, because on Saturday we are headed out for a week of backpacking in the wilderness and so we might as well hold off on starting anything new. I'm trying to talk B into getting a short-term subscription to HBO Now via Amazon Prime so we can watch Game of Thrones. (His objections are that a, he hates WIPs even more than I do and wants to be able to watch every day or every other day rather than waiting a week between episodes, and b, he is sure they will make it hard for us to cancel after a month or two.)

In the meantime, [community profile] remixrevival has signups through Sunday, and [community profile] crossovering has extended signups through Sunday, so if either of these interest you, you have a few more days to join up!

Help me turn away from the awful?

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:58 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
Ugh, y'all, I am having one of those days where just keeping my eyes open and witnessing the awfulness of my nation's government is making me feel bleak and wrung-out and helpless. And I keep opening FB and Twitter in adjacent tabs, and then after reading for a while realizing that reading them is not actually helping anyone or anything (me included) and closing them, and then a few minutes later opening them again without even thinking about it, which says something about my social media habits that I do not like. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I miss having a sense of active involvement in fandom. I have a few hours ahead of me with no kid to mind, and I obviously need to stop poking at social media (it's the emotional-intellectual equivalent of just eating endless bags of potato chips -- hours go by and then I feel sick to my stomach), and I know that once upon a time I would have seized on this time as an opportunity to make something for y'all, and I miss that. But I'm not embedded in any particular universes right now, and I feel tapped-out and devoid of ideas.

Read any good books lately, especially fiction or nonfiction that left you feeling lifted-up instead of dragged-down?

For those of you who are actively fannish, what are the things that are bringing you joy?

Francesca, by Ezra Pound

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:36 am
runpunkrun: tree on a grassy hill against a blue sky (et in arcadia ego)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Francesca

You came in out of the night
And there were flowers in your hand,
Now you will come out of a confusion of people,
Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

I who have seen you amid the primal things
Was angry when they spoke your name
In ordinary places.
I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,
And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,
Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away,
So that I might find you again,
Alone.



angry when they spoke your name )
musesfool: Reboot Uhura (never tell me the odds)
[personal profile] musesfool
So on Monday the realtor I've been working with sent me 10 listings to choose from and I said I liked five, and so I'm seeing 2 out of those five tomorrow evening (the two most expensive and also the two I was least interested in. funny how that works out. the one that was my fave accepted an offer yesterday and is thus off the market now. Sigh. eta: and there goes my second fave, with an accepted offer. but I'm seeing the last one on Saturday, so there's hope! I like each of these three, just not as much as I liked the other two and also they each have one drawback or another, I guess./eta). I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I'd really like to see the two I like more before I have to make any decisions.

How can it only be Wednesday? Yesterday felt like it was 8 days long in and of itself. Sigh.

What I've just finished
Nothing.

What I'm reading now
Still on Abaddon's Gate. I like it but not as much as the first two books so it's taking me longer to read (the fact that I haven't been getting a seat on the train hasn't helped). I feel like the new characters are not nearly as interesting as Avasarala and Bobbie, though I like Anna and Bull just fine. Melba, otoh... On the plus side, spoilers ) I'm about a hundred pages from the end so I'm guessing there's still some excitement to come.

What I'm reading next
Regardless, I did pick up the next book - Cibola Burn - because I do want to see what happens next. I just also wish we got the POV from the others on the Roci instead of all Holden all the time there.

***
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
I was inviting people to ask me questions on Tumblr last night, and one of the things I ended up talking about is what makes me fall for things (books, movies, TV shows) in a fandom kind of way. I decided to post that here as well, because it took me a long time to figure it out but I did eventually figure it out, and I thought it was interesting. There are always a few outliers that don't quite fit this, or fit it in unusual ways, but for the most part, this is what makes the difference for me between something I merely like, and something I write fanfic for and can't stop talking about to anyone who'll hold still long enough.

Cut to keep from clogging your reading page )

Icon stickers

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:38 am
par_avion: collage of intl air mail stickers (Default)
[personal profile] par_avion posting in [community profile] vividcon
Wow, it's almost August!

This is your yearly Icon sticker request page. Make those requests! What are you feeling fannish about this year? What is your visual fan identity?

Please post here if possible. Anyone who only uses twitter can @ me there.

Botanic Garden birds

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:12 pm
calissa: (Default)
[personal profile] calissa
My wonderful sister took me out to the Botanic Gardens last week and handed me her spare DSLR camera. This caused me no end of delight. I think my smartphone camera is wonderful, but there are some things it just can't do. Chief among these (in my opinion) is bird photography.

Superb Blue Fairy Wren )

New Holland Honeyeater )
monanotlisa: Dutch pulls Johnny's ear to check for a tech implant (dutch & johnny - killjoys)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
[personal profile] mirabile, I received your Get Well Soon flowers -- thank you so much! They cheered me up a lot today on my last day of recuperating at home, and will continue to do so at night.



(Feel free to click the thumbnail.)

Also, y'all, I love this show, especially this season: Killjoys up to & including 3x04 ''The Lion, The Witch, and the Warlords'' )

Dear Equinox Letters

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:46 pm
elipie: (Default)
[personal profile] elipie posting in [community profile] equinox_exchange
Hello all!

If you haven't already, you may want to post a Dear Equinox letter. These are entirely optional, but can be fun! If you'd like to see some examples, the Dear Equinox post from the Spring has plenty of links in the comments.

Letters are for the vidder assigned to you, or anyone who might want to make you a treat. They should at least contain your requested fandoms and any character or relationship tags in your requests, and are a good place to fill out your requests by adding more details, likes/dislikes, music preferences/suggestions, and so on.

You can also include trigger information in your letter if you wish to do so. Your letter is a good place to get that information to treat vidders; including it is in no way required, and you should only do what you're comfortable with, but mods won't be able to communicate directly with treat vidders like we can to your assigned vidder.

Letters can be posted to DW, LJ, Tumblr, your Wordpress blog, your Twitter 140 characters at at time (...maybe not that last one), wherever. When you have a letter up, link it here in the comments, along with a) the name you signed up with, and b) a list of the fandoms you requested.

If your assigned recipient did not include a Dear Equinox letter link in their sign-up, make sure to check the comments on this post! They may have chosen not to write one, but it's also possible they forgot to include it or didn't write it before sign-ups closed.


Have fun, and as always, you can reach the mods at equinoxvids@gmail.com if you have any questions!
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.
monanotlisa: AtS's Fred, reading a book, in olive-green soft coloring (fred - ats)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Because my wife purchased it after watching the movie trailer, I too read the book, mostly in waiting rooms: A Wrinkle In Time )

I may pass on the follow-up books of the quartet (the ones I haven't read already), but I'm definitely looking forward to the movie, which looks visually stunning and well-cast.

Summer gratitudes

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:12 pm
kass: a container full of wooden spoons for cooking (spoons)
[personal profile] kass
1. I am making a new cucumber salad recipe, courtesy of an issue of Cook's Country that came to my hands. I think the trick of seeding and pre-slicing the cucumbers and letting them rest on a paper towel in the fridge for 20 minutes will indeed help keep the cucumbers crisp, and I flavored the salad with mint from my one garden bed. \o/!

2. One giant load of wash is in the dryer, another load of towels is in the wash, hallelujah.

3. I'm going to oven-roast salmon tonight, glazed with soy-sesame-miso-ginger-garlic and a smidge of maple syrup.

4. I had a morning of self-care (therapy followed by massage). My friendly neighborhood massage therapist tells me that she encounters a lot of people's necks and that they are not supposed to feel like corded steel cable. Well okay then. :-)

5. I got to have lunch with [personal profile] squirrelhaven, and will get to have dinner with [personal profile] sanj and [personal profile] kouredios. What a delightful day. :-)

How are y'all?
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Now is the time to call your Senators. Yes, certain GOP senators are particularly critical, but honestly, call yours no matter who you are or where you live. This is about protecting Medicaid, the general healthcare infrastructure in this country, and also denying Trump a win so that GOP feels more compelled to boot him out. On every level, GOP attempts to repeal ACA must be fought.

And yes, even if you called before - call again.

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.

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