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April 21st, 2015 03:17 pm - here is almost seven hundred words of poetry all about spiders
It's Blank Verse Blog Week! I suppose, today
I’ll have to try to write in rhythmic glee.
(Am I the only one who feels dismay
That that name's less of iamb than spondee?)


I'm in the mood for formal language play
Because I'm reading in the book called "Doom"
Or sometimes "Angry Elves" if you're my friends,
By which I mean the Silmarillion,
Which I have tried to read before, and failed,
But this year's goal is "Finish all the books
That sit, half started, lonely, on your shelves"
And so I'm pushing though until the end.

I've got at far as fair, lost Beleriand
But must confess I still don't care for elves
Who love unmoving shadows in the West
And sometimes I mix Finrod and Fingon
And so on, but there's one old name I love,
Who's passed right through the story, and then gone
To an unsung and silent happy age,
And that, of course, is she, Ungoliant.

Long I’ve loved spiders, curious and quiet,
The weavers, hunters, builders, mothers, friends,
The fat and fuzzy, bright-eyes-in-the-dark,
Festooning silent places, guarding trails,
But most of all I think I love the way
They are the ones that we cannot shut out:
In all the sealed and sterile homes we've made,
Hidden from the earth that lives, for fear
Of anything that’s free, unclean, Not-Us.
And watching flick'ring lights as evening falls,
It's spiders that will find the open doors,
And dash across the shower-wall and say:
You can't shut out the world though you may try
For there is more outside than you can find,
And it is life, like yours, and not alone.

In the same way as dark Ungoliant
Who walked into the Pure-Land-Walled-From-Fear
And taught them light unshared is light devoured
In that uneasy twilight of the world
When all the Powers kept the world in dark
Except their private garden of the Trees:
Until she came and sucked up all the glow
So covetously kept coralled away,
And left no choice to them but share the Sun.

Not only light she sucked up that dark year,
For of the Nine Fell Oaths that were ill-sworn
Those days before the first dawn of the world,
The first-sworn of them all, and first fore-sworn,
Was Melkor's oath to aid Ungoliant:
And when that oath he broke, she broke his power,
No more with Valinor could he contend,
But tied to Children's clothing, weak he strove
Against the swords of Men and Angry Elves,
His black hands always burning with his Oath
He broke to she who cared not for their cares.

And as to she herself - she rolled eight eyes,
Expecting nothing less from Eru’s spawn,
And went away beyond the pains of song,
And wove her cloth to catch the gen’rous light
Of the bright Sun, the fruit she did not eat,
But left to spread for all beneath the Sky.
And had no truck with Oaths and Wars and such
And raised her daughters and her sons in peace,
To a great dynasty that spanned the World,
Until she chose to leave it her own way,
The only creature ever under sky
Who conquered Melkor and the Valar both,
And in one day, and only as she chose.
(If she *did* leave - the Moriquendi tell,
In the far South, and in the East, that still
She throws her silk into the sky and climbs
To dim the Moon to blood, from time to time.)

I mean, it could just be that she’s the first
Who bears the pronoun she, in all that book,
To do aught more than cry, grow plants, and sleep,
And that is why I love her, like her child
Shelob in Frodo’s tale, who’s feared alike
By Dark and Light, still scorning all their wars.

But mostly I have loved the ones who stay
Outside the realms where Kings and Noldor fight,
The spiders, Old Tom, Hobbits who wed Fae,
And all who learned to live between the light.

(5 comments | Reply)


April 14th, 2015 01:21 pm
1. My laptop power cord suddenly died last night (instead of slowly dying, like my last several) so I shall probably be rather less online until I figure out what I'm doing about that (not entirely not-online, because phone + work computer + backup laptop, but less.)

This is probably good for me and hopefully I will get a lot done? :D Maybe?

2. Speaking of I went and found my copy of the Silmarillion this morning since I couldn't just stare at the internet. (It's a First American Edition with a foldout map in the back that my uncle stood in line to buy on the first day.) I've only ever read the Ainulindalë and the Valaquenta out of it because tbh the Feanorians always seemed just boringly overwrought. But [tumblr.com profile] sathinfection is trying to get people to write Akallabeth-based Sauron slash and well. Usually I am strong against that kind of thing. But. someone needs to stop me I own a Ring that I haven't put on once in ten years why is this so hard to resist

2. You've probably seen the stuff about the site that has scraped large amounts of fanfic from Ao3 and reposted it under a paywall, probably in order to phish for credit card numbers and maybe personal info from takedown notices. I am kinda flattered tbh because nobody's ever pirated my stuff before.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens because iirc this is the first time those kinds of sites have targeted fandom large-scale, and I doubt it's going to stop now that the box has been opened, and now that it HAS been opened, it's going to bring all kinds of copyright questions out into the open that we've just been letting sit.

...unless we-as-fandom just collectively ignore it and let the pro authors who are also on the site handle it, which tbh is what I'm leaning toward.

3. Oh speaking of boxes that once opened cannot be closed again, I'm seriously considering buying a Hugo vote this year. I've actually been seriously considering it for several years, because a corresponding Worldcon membership is a pretty good deal in return for a collection of what's currently hot in SF, but I was stopped by the fact there was no way I'd actually get around to reading all the nominees in time to vote. This year, though, some thoughtful fans have conveniently reduced the number of nominees I'd need to read by over half, and that might actually be doable.

4. I am seriously considering starting another side tumblr titled "This book actually exists?" because I am stumbling on them ALL THE TIME now that I work at a library. Examples from the past week:
-An Easy Reader picture book titled Can You Spot a Jedi with a sinister-looking Yoda on the front cover that is definitely not Imperial propaganda, nope.
-A kids' series in which Sherlock Holmes' American great-great-great grandchildren, Xena and Xander, solve crime together.
-A book that retells Tom Sawyer from the POV of Becky Thatcher and her girlfriends who were having WAY better adventures than he was.

5. For Camp Nano I am currently playing with a set of characters that originated in a text-based adventure I programmed for my TI-83 when I was 13*. IT HAS BEEN SUPER-FUN. 13-year-old me had great OCs. But also I am remembering all the way that original fic is way harder to write than fanfic. (There's currently a Jupiter Challenge going on Tumblr to encourage people to write the stories they've had laying around in the back of their minds since they were preteens. I don't think I'm going to do it because tbh I never actually needed the extra encouragement to hang on to my old OCs, but it sounds pretty cool!)

*they live in a world that's like the Early Bronze Age except the glass tech is further advanced because the desert dragons like to chew on sand like bubblegum and thus taught people glassblowing v. early on. Sadly though I haven't figured out how to work this fact into any actual storyline so I am telling y'all instead.

6. Steven Universe. That is all.

(8 comments | Reply)


March 28th, 2015 05:52 pm
I have been having a grump sort of day (possibly I have hit my limit for human interaction for the week already. Oh well, just a memorial viewing, church social hour, lunch with family friends, and a play left for the weekend, and then I can... start all over....)

anyway here is some grump for you, DW.

This is a short and very incomplete list of edible plants that currently grow in my yard, which is full of mature trees and very shady:

wild onion
wild raspberry
wild strawberry
pokeweed
wild mint
wild mustard
daylily
feral cherry tomatoes
chufa
bittercress
violets
dandelions
wood sorrel
wild grape
clover
rose
waybread
(and part of the reason why it is very shady: black walnut, pecan, mulberry, wild cherry, sugar maple.)

Here is a 100% complete list of domesticated vegetables and varieties that master gardeners and gardening books have suggested to me for mostly or full shade:

...cabbage, maybe, if you put it in a wheelbarrow and move it around to where the sun is.


WHY IS NOBODY WORKING ON SHADY VEGETABLE GARDENS FOR TEMPERATE CLIMATES?

Clearly it is possible to grow a variety of edibles in forest understory, since a variety of edibles are currently growing in my yard, and given the focus on resilience/sustability/urban homesteading/heirloom varieties/whatever right now, you'd think somebody would be promoting, say, a variety of potato that grows well in mostly-shade? Or publishing books that go into detail on what plants you can get some harvest from in the shade, even if it's not as much? I mean, I don't need maximum productivity, I can barely keep up with the wild raspberries as it is.

And yet all the vegetable gardening books and organic gardening gurus have to say about "if your garden is shady" is "well, maybe cut down some trees?"

I have looked into "edible forest gardens" a little, that seems to be the buzzword, but they seem to be mainly focused on planting trees and shrubs, and I'm good on trees and shrubs actually, I'd just like a squash once in awhile, is that so hard??

...anyway this is mostly just a grump but if you do have any good recs for sources for vegetable gardens that are 30% sun or less, I would be happy to get them.

(23 comments | Reply)


March 25th, 2015 06:36 pm - of APIs and catch-22s
So for the past, oh, year or so, I have been sporadically and half-heartedly working on* a fork of writtenkitten that will let you pull images from more fannishly-oriented sites than flickr, because tbh when you put in "kaiju" or "methos" as your search term it doesn't pull up much from flickr/creative commons.

Anyway, I have gotten as far as rebranding it "wrotegoat", fixing the bug for the first kitten goat, and adding some more user options, but when it comes to actually getting images from Tumblr, I run up against the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing with APIs, and Tumblr makes you "register your application" before you can play with their API.

So if there is anyone here who knows anything about APIs, can you answer me one simple question? To make an app with the tumblr API, I have to register an app. To register an app, I have to have made an app. To make an app I have to register an app. To register an app I have to have made an app. HOW DOES THAT WORK?? Can I register with a dummy URL, keep coding with the files on my hard drive until it at least vaguely works, and then change it later, or something?

...also shouldn't programmers know what an 'infinite loop' is?

*when I know I should be doing other stuff but really really dunwanna

(6 comments | Reply)


March 24th, 2015 02:45 pm - 5 things for the internet
1. I have signed up for [community profile] intoabar again! With Katharine Dunleavy from Jupiter Ascending and Snarkout Boys, The Librarians, Steven Universe, and Saga as my four possible fandoms. There is no possible way I will ever regret this.

2. I also did indeed sign up for Camp Nano for April. I will probably regret this. So far I mostly just want to make more lanyards.

3. First day of class went well! I think it will be fun and not as exhausting as I was afraid, mandatory group project aside.

4. Other than that I have been getting basically nothing done, as predicted. lalalala.

5. [tumblr.com profile] sathinfection posted a writing meme on Tumblr where you get to be your own worst critic. I kinda feel like on the one hand it would be good to actually get some of that out there and talk about it instead of being a secret shame? But on the other hand once you go down that rabbit hole it is hard to come back up. So here I will post it on DW for answering in comments instead of smearing it all over my tumblr dash:

If you want to see me do one of these, leave a number in a comment and I'll answer! If this feels too dangerous to you do not click the cut.

you're interrogating me from the wrong perspective: a writing meme )

(12 comments | Reply)


March 14th, 2015 09:26 pm - jupiter ascending
So I went to see Jupiter Ascending to celebrate Pi Day.

WHY DIDN'T THE INTERNET WARN ME THAT WAS A HARD SF MOVIE.

very vague spoilers under cut )

There are a bunch of ways I just expect a movie to betray me eventually and watching it is sort of like just counting down until the inevitable betrayal and this movie kept NOT DOING THAT. The internet had warned me about most of them so I was prepared to maybe not be betrayed in the standard ways? BUT NOBODY WARNED ME ABOUT THE SCIENCE. NOBODY WARNED ME THAT THIS WAS A REALLY SMART MOVIE BY PEOPLE WHO REALLY LOVE THE "SCIENCE" IN SF AND TRUST THE AUDIENCE TO ALSO BE SMART. WHY DID YOU NOT WARN ME.

that was a really good choice to celebrate pi day.

Current Mood:: [mood icon] ecstatic

(39 comments | Reply)


March 8th, 2015 08:48 am - Rest of pairing meme
I finished the pairing meme prompts yay!

Spike/Dru, meet the parents, for [personal profile] lady_ganesh
Javert/Montparnasse, fake dating for [personal profile] carmarthen
Ivan/By first kiss for [personal profile] carmarthen
Les Mis, Rihannsu AU for [personal profile] genarti

(Reply)


February 25th, 2015 03:15 pm
So re: the pairing meme in my last post so far I have done:

Marielon/Renee, fake dating for [personal profile] siegeofangels
Cosette Fauchelevent, Secret Space Princess for [personal profile] muccamukk
Valjean the groundskeeper at Beauxbatons for [personal profile] miss_morland
Holmes/Watson, sex pollen and buttercups in the spring for [personal profile] tazlet
A synopsis and etymological notes on the Old Norse epic poetry version of Pacific Rim for [personal profile] neotoma
Aral meets Mrs. Naismith for [personal profile] stellar_dust
AoA Loki and Sigurd, bodyswap for [personal profile] fay_e

I have three left (one Barrayar, one Les Mis, one Buffyverse) but there is plenty more on my to-do list and I really don't want to work on any wips, so y'all are still welcome to leave pairings and numbers for me.

(Reply)


February 21st, 2015 09:32 am - Pairing sillies meme!
This meme seems to be going around again - I got it via [personal profile] avanti_90. I need something to bribe myself to get to-do list done with, anybody want to give me a pairing and some numbers?

It can be any pairing from any of the fandoms you know I know canon for, except I'm going to exclude RPF this time, because I'm so incredibly behind on canon for all my old RPF fandoms. (There are some fiction canons I'm also incredibly behind on, I'll let you know if you hit one of them.)

Comment with the name of a ship from a fandom I know and I will tell you a bit about how each of the following scenarios would go down for them:
1. Fake dating
2. Bodyswap
3. Sexpollen/fuck or die/aliens made them do it
4. Dark!fic
5. Their first kiss
6. Meeting the parents
7. Moving in together
8. A crossover of my choice
9. An AU of my choice
10. If you like, another trope/scenario of your choice

(60 comments | Reply)


February 19th, 2015 10:24 am - the rule of fives
1. I spent yesterday morning at work planning out a honeytrap involving scantily-clad dudes with really cut abs, and yesterday evening getting ridiculously annoyed about the way Cap II fandom will critique anything involving fan portrayals of Winter Soldier's past until nothing is left but tiny crumbs of spite, while collectively ignoring the fact that Captain America tortured a prisoner onscreen and this was presented as a-ok;

2. I got into the Master Naturalist class! Unfortunately they don't have enough other applicants so now I get to wait and see if the class is cancelled for lack of interest...

3. So RE: my question about archiving ficlets and notfic on AO3, [personal profile] grey_bard pointed out that if my main concern is cluttering up my profile/dash, I can set up a separate pseud for that stuff, and it'll still be connected to my account but won't get mixed in with my main account.

WHICH IS BRILLIANT. And actually I'd already set up a pseud account to go with the LJ name I used to use for that stuff, so hey. So I'm going to start posting old scrap fic to AO3 today, starting with the Tumblr stuff, and we'll see how far back it gets before I run out of steam. I am probably going to combine posting stuff to my main account as individual works if it's good enough, posting to the scrap pseud account as individual works, and posting to the scrap pseud account as not-fully-tagged chaptered works.

4. Also re: that entry, here is the list of fiction sources people rec'd. I haven't read any of them yet (I am still putting off finishing starting A Companion to Wolves) but it makes an excellent list so I share:
Online, free-ish short story publications )

If anybody has more suggestions I am still open! Doesn't have to be SFF either.

5. Oh speaking of wolves! So I did not get around to any of the stories in my poll but hey I posted that Doctor Who one so it counts as doing the fest this year. :P But there are seven other stories added to the collection this year and they all look good, with the usual assortment of mostly smallish fandoms!

(I decided that doing the Carol one would require more knowledge of Carol's canon than I have any plans to acquire, boo. I still kinda want to do a Frontier Wolf one, though, if I can get through canon review by the end of the month...)

(8 comments | Reply)


February 17th, 2015 12:45 pm - Snow-Shoveling Thoughts
So I have somehow found myself reading Völsungakviða en nýja which has primarily resulted in the following three thoughts:

1. I can now tell people I'm a fan of Tolkien's Ring Cycle and confuse the crap out of them;

2. I wonder if it was Kid Loki or Sigurd himself who stole the missing quire of the Codex Regius (look there's some stories about yourself you just don't want out there);

3. Oh man, Marvel!Sigurd and Kid Loki constantly make Lord of the Rings jokes about themselves when they're hanging out with each other, don't they, and nobody else thinks it's funny.

(4 comments | Reply)


February 4th, 2015 06:10 pm - books
I thought I was doing so good on my "finish all the books you've started and then gotten distracted from" goal - I finished twenty-eight books in the month of January! Eleven of them were even ones that were on my list of things I needed to finish! And I made serious progress on several more! And I haven't started any new books that were left lingering for weeks! I got the list below 30 and have kept it there!

But then Librarything (finally!) instituted tag autocomplete, so I started trying to clean up the tags on my books, and discovered I had a "started to read" tag with. uh. Sixty-five books in it. Granted, some of them are ones I am NEVER going to finish because I have better things to do with my time, because literally anything would be better (DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, most awful book I have ever attempted to read, omg) and ten of them are duplicates from the list I'm currently working through, but. um. yeah.

And then there's the "early review" books which I got in exchange for agreeing to read and review and then punted when I had a really bad year. There's six of them I haven't read. I went ahead and added those. So much for keeping the list under thirty. I have another one coming too because I lack willpower. (One of 'em's by the same dude as Day of the Triffids though. I may just ignore that one.)

...also of course "A Companion to Wolves" which I still have out from the library.

Anyway this whole LibraryThing recheck has me thinking out how badly I need to reshelve my books in a more orderly way. What do you folks thing of reorganizing my nonfiction collection along these main sections:

Read more... )

Good idea? Bad idea? Best idea? (It's not quite as silly as it sounds: about half my nonfiction is on topics that would not be out of place in the Hogwarts library: I have about forty books tagged "divination" already.)

--Anyway I feel like my DW has been higher on boring life stuff than fandom content lately. My fandom life lately has been a) les mis chat, which is very rarely about les mis anymore; b) re-reading old JVJ longfic; and c) obsessing over a Winter Soldier AU where the Soldier is sent to honeytrap Captain America rather than kill him. SERIOUSLY. If that already exists I have failed to find it. Somebody tell me I just haven't looked hard enough. I don't even ship the damn pairing

(23 comments | Reply)


January 27th, 2015 05:25 pm - Hello lazyweb!
I have two questions for which I desire input from the collective wisdom of Dreamwidth. Can you help?

1. When I uploaded all my fanfic back catalog to AO3, lo these many years ago, I only included stuff that was at least a thousand words and a "real" story. Since then I have generated more short bits (some of them on Tumblr, and therefore even more impossible to find.) At this point I would like to get them all compiled together on AO3 with my other stuff. What is your favorite method (As a reader and/or writer) for putting a ton of tiny bits of fic on AO3?

The options I have seen are:
1. Post them the same way as any other fic
2. Post them as individual fics, but in a ficlet collection or series
3. Post them as chapters in one work, which you then tag with everything
4. Post them as chapters of various works separated by fandom/pairing (i.e., an "HP drabble challenges" work, a "les mis injokes" work, a "misc. poetry filk" work, etc.)
5. Post them as chapters of one work but don't tag everything (so they would be on AO3 to link to, but nobody could find them via tags)

These all have things I really don't like but I don't know of any method I actually do like. (My kingdom for a "scrapbooks" option on AO3!) What do y'all think of them? Any other ideas?


2. So when I resolved to read one complete recent fiction magazine or equivalent a month, I thought my library got some and I could just read them through it, but it turns out they stopped getting them early last year.

Does anyone have recs for currently publishing, pro-paid, online original fiction magazines/equivalent (any genre, really), preferably ones that would not require giving anyone my credit card number in order to read the most recent issue?

(I know, paying people for their work is important, but I really want to know how badly it's going to suck before I commit. And given my last few attempts at reading pro-published fiction short stories... >_< The most recent issue of Analog my library carries had two stories about how heroic and tragic it was to be an elderly white dude with no friends. And I don't mean the elderly white dude did anything special, getting old while a lonely white dude was apparently sufficiently heroic to require two stories lauding and rewarding them for for being so brave as to be elderly and so annoying their family won't talk to them anymore. I guess that's what Analog's demographic needs, idek.)

(55 comments | Reply)


January 25th, 2015 09:40 pm - Big Hero Six
So last night I went to see Big Hero Six at the new cheap movie theater! I approve of the new movie theater. It's nice to be able to just go to a theater and see a movie without first having to walk through a quarter-mile of mall and endure an "entertainment experience" or whatever. Plus, 1/3 the price, and showtimes that work with what I want to see!

Also Big Hero Six was lots of fun. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen if you can. Very very pretty with some great design work and I love how much the whole thing was a love song to the tech we're just on the verge of having. Fun characters. Other than the one giant gaping plothole, nice story. why is all the fanfic incestshipping

Then I came home last night and this happened:

"They couldn't even manage ten years without destroying it?" Newton Geizsler exclaimed, surveying the still all-too-familiar devastation that had flattened several blocks of the center of San Fransokyo. ficlet, mildly spoilery )

(6 comments | Reply)


January 23rd, 2015 07:51 pm
via everybody: When you see this, share 3 random lines from 3 WIPs.

I assume this means "use a random number generator on your wips file", right?

1. The sloe wine was already ice-cold from the snow, rich and strong as Amelia poured it off the sloes, brownish-red like old blood. They'd bottled last year after the first frost, with Amelia's recipe that used cheap strong vodka and the absolute minimum of sugar, and Vivien could taste the bite of the alcohol and the bitterness of the sloes and the cyanide under it all.

2. "Hogan, do you think I like the idea of asking Hochstetter for a favor? Do you think I do not know what sort of man he is, to give one of my prisoners into his care? But I cannot simply lock you both in the cooler for a week, you must see that, she is a koningenwolf."

3. "Boopsie!" he said. "You're still here." Enjolras had no idea why Grantaire always called him 'Boopsie', but considering how much it made Jehan and Bahorel laugh every time, it was probably some sort of obsolete pop culture reference. He'd just started answering to it after awhile.


ANYWAY also I wrote a thing last night? It has psychic wolves in it! Sort of. Sort of wolves, anyway.

A Soldier Needs a Wolfsister (500 words) by melannen
Fandom: Doctor Who
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: The War Doctor (Doctor Who), The Doctor's TARDIS
Additional Tags: Dark, Time War, Bad Wolf, Alternate Universe, Psychic Wolves
Summary: A chameleon arch can do a lot of things, and a soldier needs a wolfsister.

...no that wasn't one of the options in the poll. Uh. It was an accident. Just be glad I didn't try writing the Les Mis one or the ACD one or, oh dear, the Frontier Wolf one, when I was in that sort of mood.

(Reply)


January 22nd, 2015 10:16 am - Wolves!
So it's almost February! How time flies when you haven't done any fiction writing since Yuletide.

Also I think my first-half-of-February book display at work is going to be wolves and werewolves. I was going to do books about how it's okay to be single and you shouldn't feel pressure to find The One, but - and I don't know why I was surprised by this - we don't have enough books in the library system to do a display on that.

So wolves it is. I even put A Companion to Wolves on hold to use in the display. Maybe I'll actually read it first, even.

So hey, if I were to write something about wolves this February, completely for no reason at all except to jumpstart my writing again, OR even for this year's Psychic Wolves for Lupercalia fest, what should I write?

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 36


Wolves?

View Answers

The sequel to the Les Mis one I did last year which is basically just Eponine domming the hell out of Montparnasse
10 (27.8%)

The Reichenbach part of the ACD Holmes one
6 (16.7%)

Finish the one you started two years ago that's based on the Men Who Stare At Goats, only with wolves instead of goats
5 (13.9%)

Finish the Hogan's Heroes one you started three years ago
6 (16.7%)

Write a ficlet that is just Chewie the cat and Carol Danvers's wolfsibling Really Really Really Not Getting Along, w/ guest appearance by Rocket
14 (38.9%)

Read the copy of Frontier Wolf you got for Christmas and do something with that
11 (30.6%)

Write more of the Community werewolf AU even if werewolves don't quite count
6 (16.7%)

Something else about which I will be telling you IN DETAIL
0 (0.0%)


(13 comments | Reply)


January 20th, 2015 01:40 pm - Decembre Meme: Their Majesties' Bucketeers
A belated december meme post: [profile] fenellaevangella asked: could you talk a bit about Their Majesties' Bucketeers? I reread it not too long ago and I'd love to hear about what kind of fic you wish there was, or some meta if you've got it in you.

So for those of you who don't know about the thing of beauty and joy forever that is Their Majesties' Bucketeers, it is a short sf novel that is also a Sherlock Holmes pastiche that is set on a desert planet occupied by trilateral furry crab people with three genders.

But other than that it's exactly like Sherlock Holmes. It's set in that planet's equivalent of the high Victorian era, down to steam cars, a raging controversy over the new theory of natural selection, and a society built on racist imperialism. (In fact lamviin-Holmes's mother was the equivalent of east Indian, and his surfather was also foreign, though was his father was upper-class English equivalent and he seems to be successfully coasting on that, one of many things I wish canon had explored more except not really because I don't trust the writer to not suck at politics, so I guess we need fic.)

Anyway you can read more about it in this old entry about pro Holmes fic or my yuletide letter the year I asked for nothing but increasingly bizarre Holmes pastiches--everything in those still applies. And I still want more of the WIP about Srafen and rher inexplicable romantic life that I got as a treat that year, you're not off the hook.

I will also probably talk about the Srafen plot in this more in my entry on Lovelace and Babbage because they're probably my two favorite versions of steampunk ever.

But anyway. [profile] fenellaevangella knows all that already so now I am going to talk about a specific worldbuilding/speculative biology thing that Bucketeers does, and so do several other sffy things from that period, that I wish somebody would take a closer and more rigorous look at: a culture where it's taken for granted that you don't know what your adult gender will be until puberty. )

So I guess that's one answer to your question: I'd like more stories that explore the really different ways gendering might happen in a world where gender is never assigned at birth.

Not necessarily Bucketeers, really any version of that world you'd like to build, although I would still like fic that explored that with any of the canon characters, especially Vyssu or Srafen.

(I'd also like stories that do it more like Kazul's people, where gender isn't assigned at all but you are expected to pick one sooner or later. I suspect in a human society like that we'd still be fucked up about gender, because unfortunately, as you know, people, but in ways that were expressed quite differently. Some of the non-Α/Β/Ω D/s AUs used to touch on that, but again usually in ways that pretty closely reproduced contemporary gender issues and rarely in any depth.)

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January 18th, 2015 10:15 pm - Librarians update!
So far with my new smartphone I have: texted my sister, accidentally called my friend, been sent a picture of a cat, set the picture of the cat as my wallpaper, downloaded two apps and wishlisted a bunch more, taken a photo of some candy, transferred my contacts, uploaded an icon for myself, listened to the radio, and played 333 games of Flow.

***
Anyway! So, my fellow Librarians people, if you were one of the Librarians, which Librarian would you be?

I ask this because about 10 minutes before tonight's episode, an old family friend called my mom out of the blue to say he and his wife had been watching it and Cassandra reminds them of me.

Which.

I personally think I am less the sylphlike math genius who hallucinates, and more the dude who decided to waste all his potential living at home with his mom and posting about obscure facts on the internet.

I also think that minor spoilers for tonight's episode )

Anyway not a bad way to end it if that is the end, I may even write fic for it, who knows!

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January 17th, 2015 03:01 pm
1. I bought a smartphone yesterday. I feel like I've gone over to the enemy.

(It's a super-cheap no-contract one. I think I'm going to get the "0 data" plan in hopes of staying untethered as much as possible. The reviews said it "lacks most high-end features but would be good for someone who mostly wants to tramp around in the woods" and it was half-off. Also it supposedly has FM radio and GPS that doesn't depend on data. It's called "Hydro Vibe" and it's waterproof. I probably should have spent the $60 on, you know, the thing a "waterproof Hydro Vibe" sounds like it should be.)

Everybody says I'll get addicted but considering so far my thoughts have been "ugh, now I will have to do stuff with it" I'm hoping maybe not. (Probably I will mostly use it as a camera.)

2. I got one tile away from 131072 on 2048 and decided this was ridiculous and quit cold turkey. So I have started playing Eterna again, which is approximately the same level of addictively frustrating, but also comes with achievements to chase, so it's harder to stop.

Also, it's one thing to say "Ugh, I wasted all day yesterday playing a stupid browser game and watching QI", but it somehow sounds entirely different to whine "I wasted all day taking part in a multinational collaboration to design molucular-scale nanomachines based on RNA proteins in order to help cure cancer." You just sound stuck-up when you complain that that's all that you accomplished yesterday, even if you should have been doing laundry.

(I'm not actually helping cure cancer yet, I'm compulsively working through all 500+ of the tutorial puzzles first. It is super-addictive if you like twiddly puzzle games, though. Plus, you know, living in the future and all that.)

3. I feel like I'm posting mostly lists lately, but eh, I will post my last two December meme entries Soon, I Swear. In the meantime, lists! I got my currently-reading list down to 23! (And then, of course, started two more. But you win some you lose some.) Then I went through all my e-books and gathered together all of those that I've started in the past couple years with the intent to finish someday, and there were... well there were 14. But four of them are already in Goodreads! So that only brings the list up to 35!

This "get the list below 20" thing is never going to happen, is it.

Anyway, since I did want to catch up on some stuff that doesn't go in Goodreads, too, under the cut will be my year's tracking of "media consumed that do not belong on goodreads".
ooh how long will it get? )

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January 13th, 2015 06:42 pm - Yuletide fandoms
Oh right, Yuletide was a thing that happened, wasn't it.

Let's talk about this week's episodes of The Librarians, shall we? It continues to be gloriously predictable in a very enjoyable way. Also I'm finally starting to get properly fannish feels about the Librarianettes, so yay! I can't believe the season is almost over already? But that's probably good because let's face it this is about as long as I can manage to keep up with a currently-airing TV show these days. Maybe I'll actually pick up Agent Carter next?

shippy spoilers )

So for yuletide I wrote about the conspiracy of evil Librarians who are trying to keep magic from leaking back into the world. ^_^

Five Times Leavenworth Smedry Was Late Returning A Book (And One Time He Wasn't) (5257 words) by melannen
Chapters: 6/6
Fandom: Alcatraz Series - Brandon Sanderson
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Leavenworth Smedry, Shasta Smedry, Himalaya Smedry, Bastille Broadmoor, Alcatraz Smedry, Kanchenjunga Sarketjåkkå, Attica Smedry
Additional Tags: implied Alcatraz/Bastille, Future Fic, pov: librarian, Libraries, Yuletide 2014, implied Kanchenjunga/Leavenworth, Tentacles, librarian in-jokes, Dinosaurs, Books, Sexual Harassment, 5+1 Things, Lateness, Time Shenanigans
Summary:
Ranganathan's Five Laws of Non-Evil Library Science are:
Books are for use.
Every reader its book.
Every book its reader.
Save the time of the reader.
The library is a growing organism.

Dealing with Smedry talents, however, can make them difficult to remember, even for a Reformed Librarian.





This story has feathered dinosaurs, librarian in-jokes, grandparent shipping, a documentary framework, and a metatastic frist person POV, so basically everything you'd expect in a story by me. You may have seen it without the "(And One Time He Wasn't)" in the title because, of course, Leavenworth was late returning the sixth part, so it didn't get posted until right before reveals.

..so I signed up for that fandom at the last minute because [personal profile] the_rck mentioned that nobody had and her prompts looked fun, and I'd seen it cross the desk at the library and had been meaning to read it. It's just four kids' novels so I figured it would be an easy enough canon to pick up, I can read a longish kids' novel in two hours or so.

I should have remembered - it was right in the title of the books - that libraries are evil. We did have the whole series, but books two and four were only available as e-audiobooks. In a format incompatible with my audio player. So it ended up taking me way longer than it should have to get through canon and there was some mild panic there at a few points.

But I'm glad I offered it! I really enjoyed the series, I had a heck of a lot of fun writing the fic (mild deadline panic aside) and [personal profile] the_rck either didn't hate it or did a really good job hiding her dislike, so I thnk everything turned out ok.

The Alcatraz Smedry Series - for the vast majority of you who have never heard of it - is about a preteen boy named Alcatraz in foster care who suddenly encounters a strange old man who claims to be his grandfather. )

I kind of want these books to have a large fandom just so I can BS with people about what our Smedry talents are and strategize on how to use them. (Mine is that I can't get laces to stay tied. Since my shoelaces are never tied it has all the advantages of the tripping talent plus I can make other people trip. Also tripwires aren't much trouble and never try to tie me up. If I was in really serious trouble I might even be able to do terrible things to the Threads of Destiny but don't test me on that.)

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