If you've called before, that's great - but call again.
If you have a Dem senator, call to thank them for standing firm.
It really is important. If you're afraid of talking to people, call outside of business hours and leave a voicemail. Call local offices if the DC line is busy/mailbox full.
I'm making life (maybe) a little easier this year in that, since last year I got a pinboard and have filled it with things, so if reading through the fandoms below nothing springs to mind, or you just want a place to start, I've got a "wishlist" tag, which is everything that I wish there was a podfic of. Additionally the "tier1" tag are fic I've loved/are favorites and I would be delighted by podfics of any of those as well.
So, if anything on my pinboard strikes your fancy, excellent! But I also super love getting to listen to podfic of new things (of course!) and hopefully we've been matched on a fandom you're excited to record for, so here's a bit more about what I like...
( Fandoms and General Info )
When I say / think / complain that this present political situation is unbearable, or words to the effect, I am showing my white privilege. To listen to these seven activists talk about what their families have experienced within the last five generations is staggering. I knew much of it intellectually, but yesterday it hit me with full emotional force. So shut up, white girl. I barely know what it is to hurt.
One of the many reasons I am looking forward intensely to Danganronpa V3's release at the end of the month. Dangan Ronpa games are ALL PLOT, ALL THE TIME and it's great.
I'm feeling more generous towards Final Fantasy XV than I am towards most open-world games at the moment, because that game isn't really about the plot; it's a game about arsing around with your friends. Of course you should waste time on stupid sidequests; wasting time with people you care about is important!
Wait, maybe the problem isn't open-world games; maybe the problem is games where the protagonist is alone. In Lost Legacy, you spend most of the time hanging out with Nadine; in Final Fantasy XV, you've got three pals with you. I just want constant dialogue! And that's just not something you get in, for example, the Assassin's Creed games. (As much as I love Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, I'm sad that it went, 'Twin protagonists! You can choose which one to play! But the other twin doesn't tag along with you, sorry.' I want Evie and Jacob to snipe at each other while I'm running around London!)
...okay, I wrote the above in part because I was dithering on whether to play Infamous: Second Son, as a means of passing the time before Danganronpa V3's release. On the one hand, it had good reviews and my housemate had it, so it would cost me nothing to try it out. On the other, I was so tired of open-world games, and I'd tried the original Infamous once and hated it instantly.
I needn't have worried. I came to love Infamous: Second Son just as instantly as I'd come to hate Infamous. Turns out that this game is all about siblings who don't really get along but love each other nonetheless, i.e. my ultimate weakness. Almost at the very start of the game (twelve minutes into this walkthrough video), there was the perfect cutscene, cramming about six things I love into fifty seconds, after the protagonist Delsin got extremely stigmatised superpowers.
And it's so fun to play! Delsin can run so fast and can jump so high and has assorted zooming-and-hovering skills, so you can fly from building to building! He sometimes gives a little giddy laugh as he shoots up into the sky, and it's really endearing. It does suffer a little from Videogame Morality, where it's morally fine to kill the occasional civilian so long as you make up for it by stopping some drug dealers later, but I'm not taking it too seriously. I'm pretty used to suspending my moral disbelief in videogames.
This game further supports my 'maybe the issue is a lack of company in open worlds rather than open worlds in themselves' theory, because Delsin and his brother occasionally have little sarcastic phone conversations while you're running around the city, and it's great.
I'm only two hours into the game, so it's possible my opinion will change, but they have been a thoroughly enjoyable two hours.
( cut for spoilers )
GET YURIO LAID! He’s a very good boy and he’s had a very tough year. This is all healthy, life-affirming porn here:
Explicit, 1570 words. Texting turns into flirting turns into sexting. Cringingly realistic depiction of teenage awkwardness and nervous excitement, and so funny (and so, so hot). Comes with a smutty sequel, [eggplant emoji].
The picture comes out pretty good, Yuri decides, slapping a filter on it and sending it before he gets cold feet. He'd do himself, probably. Maybe Otabek would do him too.
He puts his shirt back on and buries his face in the pillow. Ugh, feelings. They're the worst. Why does Otabek have to have that serious, cute, seriously cute face, and that ass? Why does his opinion have to matter so much to Yuri?
When his phone dings, Yuri has to take some deep cleansing breaths before he can look at it. But when he does --
holy shit. I want to make you look like that
Mature, 5007 words. Another long-distance phone sex fic, in an alternate timeline where Yuri doesn’t medal at the GPF, and Otabek does. Achingly lovely.
After that, Otabek starts sending Yuri more pictures of himself. Shots at the rink; a video clip, short and shaky, of him not quite landing a quad Lutz. In front of a Tim Hortons, making a face at a cup of coffee while two girls laugh at him. That one, Otabek captions, don’t worry, they’re dating each other. Yuri sends back do you think you’re funny, and, because words alone cannot capture the depth of his disdain, refuses to answer Otabek’s messages for three days.
He doesn’t send back pictures often. Otabek follows him on Instagram, anyway, and it seems like admitting something to take photographs just for him. So he mostly just talks: short, idle thoughts he drops into the ether. What’s Canada’s deal with this Tim Horton guy. Beat Georgi at nationals. Do you like cats.
Explicit, 14526 words. More long-distance fic, in which Yuri keeps dropping hints. Suuuuper hot, and also comes with a deliciously dirty sequel, you catch on like a bonfire.
Otabek looks at the clock; it’s past two a.m. in Saint Petersburg. He had no idea they’ve been talking this long.
“Do you wanna—” Yuri starts at the same time as Otabek says, “Are you planning on staying upright tomorrow in practice? Because that might be a problem if we keep this up.”
Yuri snorts unattractively. “Please, I could keep myself upright in my sleep. My balance is amazing.”
Otabek remembers the wide-eyed, bird-boned boy, executing a perfect arabesque so effortlessly it almost made him cry, the shame of his own inadequacy burning in his throat.
Explicit, 15485 words. Three years on, Yuri is living with Victor and Yuuri when he confesses something to Otabek. Gorgeous pining, flawless characterization, and one of my favorite Yuuri+Yurio scenes EVER:
Katsuki watches him carefully. “Teach you,” he repeats, like a statement rather than a question.
“Yes. How to…how to do that. Everything you know.” Yuri swallows, and then reaches out and rests a couple of fingers on Katsuki’s knee. Those big, dark eyes go wide suddenly, as he realizes what Yuri means.
To his credit, Katsuki a couple of years ago would have probably jumped a foot in the air, screamed, left a pig-shaped hole in the farthest wall in his haste to get away. But he's changed since coming to Saint Petersburg. He's more relaxed, smiles more, makes more stupid jokes. Even so, he draws in a long, unsteady inhale, and says quietly, “Oh, Yurio, no.”
Explicit, 10456 words. Otabek is clueless, so Yuri decides to make his meaning clear by taking Otabek “on the date of a lifetime … He’s going to date the shit out of Otabek.” Funny and awkward!
“Are you actually going to eat any of that?” Otabek asks when Yuri buys a large popcorn, Milk Duds, an Icee with every flavor, and a questionable-looking hotdog.
“I’m going to eat all of this,” Yuri says. “In about thirty seconds. As soon as we sit down.”
They find their seats. Otabek moves to push the armrest between them down and before Yuri can even think about it, he backhands it into the upright position. The corners of Otabek’s mouth turn up very slightly, but he doesn’t say anything about it.
General Audiences, 5799 words. Yuri and Otabek are dating, but Yuri hasn’t gotten laid yet. The gang attempts to help. No actual porn, but a hilarious ensemble fic, in which everyone is delightful.
v-nikiforov: The purpose of this chat is to get Yurio laid!
yuri-plisetsky has left the chat.
Go forth and shower these writers with praise!
And I have another class in an hour so I do have to go. And then dog-and-horse-sitting through Tuesday morning. How are y'all?
I hadn't been to the Empire State Building since I was a kid, and angelgazing was like, "Why even live in NYC if you don't go to the attractions?" and I was like, "I've never even been to the Statue of Liberty." *hands* Generally speaking, the thought of masses of tourists repels more than the attractions attract. Unless someone from out of town wants to go, I generally don't do those kinds of things, though they are always fun when I do.
Anyway. The Good Place had its season 2 premiere Wednesday night, but it started at 10 pm and when I saw that I was like, "oh hell no!" I am not cut out for 10 pm shows anymore. So I set the DVR and watched it last night.
Spoilers from here on out! Please don't read if you haven't watched. It's a show that works best unspoiled the first time around! ( spoilers for all of s1 and the s2 premiere )
rachelmanija has a much more thoughtful post here.
What I've finished reading since my last post:
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. What I thought would be a fun, tight-knit murder mystery turned out to be a big story covering hundreds of years, major political upheavals, and some thought-provoking ideas about clones. I enjoyed this a lot.
Redshirts by John Scalzi. It was a fun book and made me laugh, but as my first Scalzi novel, I can't say it made me want to read more.
The Thessaly series by Jo Walton (The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, and Necessity). An interesting series, especially as an exploration of utopia. I never thought I'd read a book that would make me excited about the god Apollo. I found that even though I wasn't enormously taken in by the plots or characters, I couldn't put them down, and I think that's just because the prose is so damn readable. I came to particularly love the character Maia, and was bummed that she wasn't in the last novel.
Lavinia, by Ursula K Le Guin. I've had the e-book for ages, and after I finished The Just City, but before I realised there were two more novels after it, I was in the mood for more Bronze Age fiction. Le Guin's prose is as wonderful as ever, and I loved the use of the device that Lavinia -- and everyone else -- was a character in the Aeneid, not a historical figure. I find Le Guin's tendency toward gender essentialism more annoying than I used to.
The Small Change trilogy by Jo Walton (Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown). Detective noir/political thriller series set in an AU where the UK made peace with the Nazis and the US never joined WWII. In the first book, one of the POV characters is happily married to a man with the same first and last name as Mr. Adjacent, and it was very strange! At several points I thought I'd have to stop reading it because this character was under serious threat and I thought he might die. The end of the series was narratively satisfying but politically annoying. Between this series and the Thessaly series I have read two instances in Walton where the oppressed and their allies basically convinced those in power (or rather, a sympathetic faction of those in power) to stop oppressing them. I'm with Fredrick Douglass on that one.
What I'm currently reading
My Real Children by Jo Walton. Yes, I'm on a kick. I've just started this, but I'm hoping it will be more the intimate, character-driven story that Among Others was. As much as I've enjoyed Walton's books that I've read since then, none of them can hold a candle to that one.
Also, I'm slowly re-reading Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand by Ursula K Le Guin. I read it for the first (and only) time more than 15 years ago, so all I really remember is the overall feel of the book.
What I'll read next
I pre-ordered the new Philip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage, and it will be arriving in less than a month. I told myself I'd re-read His Dark Materials first. Also, last year I purchased N.K. Jemisin's Obelisk Gate but decided to wait until the third book was out before reading the whole trilogy (including re-reading The Fifth Season). Now the third book is out but I haven't bought it yet. And finally, I have four books on hold from the library and I plan to drop anything else to read them once they become available. In other words, I don't know.
Free book-shaped space
I finally got my account set up to get e-books from the library and my book buying is plummeting (excepting the Le Guin haul, described below) while my reading rate soars. I'm so pleased.
I recently learned that Worldcon 77 (in 2019) will be in Dublin! I really really want to go -- Dublin is cheaper to get to than London and almost as easy -- but it's within a week of my 10-year wedding anniversary, when we are also planning a big trip. I know this is nearly two years away, but August always ends up filled with family travel, so I feel like I do have to plan this far in advance in order for it to happen.
I went to Portland, Oregon in August, for the first time since probably 2003. I went to Powell's and re-purchased many of the Le Guin books I'd gotten rid of in a misguided purge a few years ago. All the books I bought were used -- I prefer to buy used books anyway, but these were necessarily so since I bought out of print books. Anyway, my Le Guin library is slowly being restored. Also, I almost bought a few missing Earthsea novels, but then a guy at the checkout counter told me that next year they'll be releasing a new illustrated version of the series, so I decided to hold out for that. Speaking of, the fancy illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is coming out soon. I seem to be collecting them all, but I'm really curious to see how they'll do the later books, as even The Philosopher's Stone is huge and unweildy.
Loose-leaf Links is a feature where I gather together the interesting bits and pieces on sci-fi, fantasy and romance I’ve come across and share them with you over tea. Today’s tea is Plum and Cinnamon, a new blend from The Tea Centre. It’s a bit more cinnamon than plum for my liking, but makes a lovely afternoon tea.( Follow Up ) ( Awards News ) ( Community and Conventions ) ( On Equity ) ( For Writers ) ( For Readers )
And lastly, Christina at Books and Tea has a review of two tea-flavoured candies. Yum.
Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.
"I can't believe you didn't think it was worth telling me that we're living inside a game," Jedao was saying.
Cheris sighed. "I didn't tell you," she said, "because you wouldn't be able to shut up about it, and it's hard being a good playtest character when someone keeps ranting." ( cut for Ninefox spoilers, I guess? )
While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:
- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)
Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.
*as opposed to pairings where I don't.
And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.