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September 14th, 2016 06:49 pm - Rivers of London
So in other news, I have been reading all of the Rivers of London fic lately. (I am somewhere between step five and step eight, given the vagaries of fandom.)

(It started with giving in and reading Wizardry by Consent because I am so there for any pairing that is "effectively immortal, super competent person who is starting to lose their footing in the world / middle-aged vanilla mortal with a rock-solid certainty of who they are but still ready for a little wonder in their life." Unfortunately this is not quite the dynamic in canon but I guess it was close enough. Also I have already read all the Three/Brig and Joe/Methos in the world so it wasn't like I could go elsewhere.

Also! A story about police that is fundamentally critical of policing-as-practiced and is all about community policing and oversight and restorative justice sort of stuff! I have been unable to read in most of the classic buddy-cop fandoms lately because of discomfort with narrative glorification of the system that doesn't address its glaring problems, but this story worked.)

But, anyway, I moved on from that one and am now busy reading all the rest of the fanfic, but I ran out of novel-length ones already so I just got the first volume of canon out from the library. Before I started reading it, I thought I would try to summarize what I have learned via osmosis. For science.

Possibly spoilers for all of Rivers of London? IDK I haven't read it. )

I think the part where Peter and Thomas get married and have apprentices of their own is fanon but honestly at this point I am not sure. Peter likes architecture and Harry Potter. Thomas likes rugby and botany. They love each other very much. That part is canon. The end, except that there is a new book coming out soon.

And now I get to find out how wrong that all was! \o/

(19 comments | Reply)


July 28th, 2016 12:34 pm - we're not cousins anymore
Speaking of Con.txt panels I am running, I am also running the Imperial Radch panel.

Current plan is to sing the song about the thousand eggs until someone in the audience volunteers to mod instead. (Alternatively, we just cast some omens and discuss whichever lines of the text Amaat wills.)

But now I am curious, what tune do you get the egg song stuck in your head to? I get stuck with "Make new friends, but keep the old", the old Brownie Girl Scout round:

Make new friends/ but keep the o-old
A thousand eggs/ all nice and wa-arm
One is silver/ and the other gold
Peep-peep peep peep a-/ nother chick is born.

It scans better with three peeps than four, and you have to sing nine-nine-nine eggs instead of nine-hundred-ninety-nine (etc.) but other than that it works pretty well. It's even a round so it would work really well for ancillary units and/or cars full of small children to sing ad infinitum!

("The Station Goes Around The Sun" is always Farmer in the Dell in my head, by the way, even though I know there are other tunes for it out there. The circle game would even work!)

(15 comments | Reply)


February 25th, 2016 04:21 pm - Being a Participant
1. I keep scrolling through network and suddenly seeing a locked post on a journal I've been reading in network for awhile and being like huh? since when did they grant me access? And follow me apparently? I am not cool enough for them to follow me! So, here is your periodic reminder that if I suddenly add you back after ignoring you for ages, it's because I am bad at noticing stuff apparently, and also if you want me to add you, you should talk to me, because I am probably PRETTY SURE you are way too cool for me to be the first one to speak up.

2. Speaking of social incompetence, subset mine, anyone else going to con.txt this summer? Anyone else want someone to share a hotel room? It feels much less like I am a loser with no friends if I have a roommate. If splitting the cost is an problem, we can working something out, because as Jamie Kincaid said, I have income now. If you're thinking about going but not sure because you've never been, I promise to be your Native Guide and let you hang around with me if you feel alone.

(...I am bad at finding roommates.)

Also they have put out the call for panel suggestions already, as long as they are ones you want to mod, and for once... I got nothin'? I am still mostly in the same primary fandom as last time (?? how did that happen??) but it's not a huge fandom at this point, and after four con.txts I've done most of the ones I can do, so all that's left is stuff other people would have to mod (like HJOw TO REVISE THE THING).

Anyway if you've been to con.txt and can think of a panel you'd like to see me mod, feel free to suggest something, no guarantees... <_<

3. Hugos? Here is a list I have made, mostly by compiling all the stuff I had bookmarked on Pinboard, of fiction I would kind of like to read before nominating. I share it here just in case anyone cares, and also so I can find it later. I'll be adding star ratings as I read stuff and may be adding new stuff too. I will not be getting through all of it before the end of March.

Warnings: I don't endorse these, they're just things I've seen recs of. Also I don't promise they're in the right length category, I'm just going by what was on the recs.

Novel )


Novella )


Novelette )

Short Story )

Supplemental )

(24 comments | Reply)


January 1st, 2016 04:01 pm
I am having a very quiet new year's break, which is working really well for me, and I do have some end-of year and yuletide wrap-up stuff to post, but in the spirit of "start as you mean to go on", have:

Five Imperial Radch Stories That Fandom Has Not Miraculously Already Provided Me, Why? (and one I may end up writing myself)



1. The modern day US coffeeshop AU where everyone is genderqueer, endgame pairing Breq/Anaander )

2. Several Thousand Years' Worth of Sphene Being Very, Very Bored )

3. Several thousand fics about identity and ancillaries, especially how that works for Breq and Tisarwat going forward from where they are. )

4. A couple segments of the part of Anaander who made Tisarwat come to Athoek Station on a diplomatic mission, and fall hard for Basnaaid, because it turns out it wasn't it wasn't Tisarwat being a teenager, it was the Lord of the Radch having a type )

5. Mercy of Kalr decides to try growing ancillaries from scratch, fic quickly degenerates into world's most horrifying + adorable kidfic )

6. Breq and Kalr *consider* having kids, decide to get a dog instead )

(9 comments | Reply)


October 28th, 2015 05:10 pm - Yuletide letter
Do you ever sit down to just, like, look up a few old entries, and next thing you know it's three days later and you're in the middle of re-reading a four-year-old kinkmeme?

Yeah.

Anyway, the fandom:yuletide tag on this journal should now be up to date with all my old yuletide posts and all posts relevant to this year's requests! So if you came here from my YT request, you can backread in the tag and find stuff about what I like in yuletide. And I can link it more easily in my letter.

Oh yeah I should do a letter I guess shouldn't I. Although last year I didn't and that worked out wonderfully, I got an amazing story and two amazing treats, so if you'd rather not bother with the letter, yt writer, everything you actually needed was in the request, the rest of this is just to indulge my own desire to ramble about these fandoms, so you are welcome to ignore.

Here's my requests:

19th Century Paleontology RPF
Edward Drinker Cope
Othniel Charles Marsh

I would like Shenanigans, please. Cope/Marsh hatesex in the boneyards is fine. AU where they can summon the spirits of the creatures they have Named and make them fight duels for them is fine. Rap battles in the Academy of Sciences are fine. Sent back in time by steampunk contraption and forced to work together to survive the Jurassic is fine. The Feud gets out of control until they are two mad scientists battling to rule the world is fine. Basically if it's over-the-top and tropey and about Cope and Marsh's epic hatemance, it is fine. (You can also write something historically accurate and meticulously researched, I wouldn't turn it down.)

More about Cope/Marsh if you don't know the fandom )

More about my Cope/Marsh desires )

James Asher Vampire Series - Barbara Hambly
Any Character

If you write me James and Lydia and Simon, I really really need a story where James and Lydia finally have to acknowledge that James and Simon love each other just as much as Lydia and Simon do. If you don't want to write that, you can write me gen backstory for any of the three before they met, or gen or relationship fic about literally any other pair of characters in canon, I would love any of that too because all the characters in this series are so great and have such fascinating relationships with each other. I just can't take any more J/L/S where one leg of the triangle is missing, canon is hurting me on purpose, so if you write me any part of that 'ship please write me all of it.

More about Ashers if you don't know the fandom )

More about my Asher-related desires )

Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie
Any Character

I haven't read Ancillary Mercy as of writing this letter, but I will by reveals, so if you want to go with something from Mercy please do, I am sure I will love it, I just don't know how to prompt it yet. Other than that: I would love fic about Ships' relationships with their captains or crew from the POV of anyone (including OCs) but Breq; I would love Anaander Miaanaai backstory or POV of any kind whatsoever; I would love anything about the process of Radchaaization from one of the characters who is trying to navigate between Radchaai and the culture she was part of before the Radch came; I would also love anything else you write about any of the many characters who were nominated.

More about the Radchaai if you don't know the fandom )

More about my Imperial Radch desires )

Princeless
Adrienne Ashe
Raven Xingtao

I am reading this in trades so I'm behind, but mostly I really need Adrienne/Raven slash? So bad. Age them up a bit and have Adrienne suddenly realize that Raven SOO did not want to be sisters. And then adventures + kissing. Yes? Yes. If you don't feel the Adrienne/Raven I would also love anything at all about Adrienne's mother and/or brother, or about Raven off adventuring on her own.
More about Princeless if you don't know the fandom )

More about my Princeless desires )

Theophile Gautier's Cats RPF
Any Character

Hi this is your safety fandom, just find "My Private Menagerie" in Google Books and read the chapter about the cats and write me a thousand words about the Black Dynasty. (although animal harm warning, they do all die eventually, as they are cats who lived a century ago.) Mostly I would like anything at all from their POV. What did Enjolras actually do out on the streets all day? What did Gavroche's alley-cat friends think of him? What did Eponine think of her brothers, or of being left with only her new paramour, or being prevented from eating at the table like a person when there were guests over?

More about the Black Dynasty if you don't know the fandom )

More about my Famous Historical Cats desires )

Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage
Any Characters

Please write me something about Lovelace and/or Babbage and/or Brunel and/or anyone else from canon or anywhere else in canon period being ridiculously awesome and awesomely ridiculous, thank you. If you are stuck for ideas, pick a page at random from Babbage's memoirs, or something from the notes that didn't get expanded in canon, and work it into the comic's pocket universe.

More about Lovelace & Babbage if you don't know the fandom )

More about my Lovelace & Babbage desires )

Also: crossovers. )

...I feel like doing this for six requests takes far more than twice as long as doing it for three...but be proud of me, I only offered 1% of the fandoms this year.

(4 comments | Reply)


August 25th, 2015 08:20 pm - dead dogs
I missed the Hugo announcements because I spent all day floating around in [personal profile] lindentreeisle's mom's swimming pool, which was definitely a better life choice, let's face it.

I'm still catching up on liveblogs and stuff, but looking at the numbers that were released, something occurs to me: the puppies may not have been 100% wrong. Because if you look at the nominations numbers, it really does look like a small group of people (~70-100) are all nominating from the exact same relatively small group of works, all of which share the trait that they are very thoughtful about stuff like gender, sexuality, race, imperialism. Whereas when you looked at the other (non-puppy) works nominated, there are a lot more of them, but fewer of them hit that nominations threshhold, because the votes are spread among more works, so they are each less likely to get a nomination.

And the taste of that small group of people, while it isn't entirely different from the tastes of the wider fandom, isn't exactly convergent, either. Just look at some of the stuff that did get wins this year. And the effect is that it almost looks like slate nominations.

I mean, obviously it *isn't* : what it is, is that if you've come to the realization that fiction that isn't deeply thoughtful about stuff like gender, sexuality, race, and imperialism is not good fiction, and especially is not great SFF, because anything else is lazy goddamn worldbuilding, then you still have a WHOLE LOT FEWER stories to pick from. And so there's a lot less less spread in the noms.

And obviously the answer isn't to have a competing slate, because that's a solution to a different problem. The answer is for the Puppies and their friends to make sure there are SO MANY books published every year for the diversity-aware bloc to pick from that their nominations are as spread out as the straight-white-men's nominations.

Get on that, Puppies. Please.

(That might actually happen anyway, if all the people who bought first-time votes this year nominate next year, and nominate a lot of less-printsff-mainstream stuff. We'll see.)

(26 comments | Reply)


May 19th, 2015 09:45 am - Benefit
So last weekend I accidentally Ancillary Justice.

...I accidentally Ancillary Justice despite having a ridiculous to-do list of fifty-one fairly major items all of which absolutely must be finished by Friday morning.

You know, I have a long, half-finished post sitting around that explores why I don't read many novels anymore, but really, the whole thing boils down to: when I'm reading a good novel, I make stupid decisions like ignoring the entire ridiculous fifty-one item to-do list to finish it. and then ignoring it some more to write dw posts about the book.

Anyway, Ancillary Justice: SO GOOD. *chinhands*

So if you took Lord of Light, Sutcliff's Dolphin Ring cycle, The Left Hand of Darkness, the Alternian Empire from Homestuck, and most of Anne McCaffrey's FSP books, put them in a blender, skimmed off all of my favorite bits, and then reshaped them into something entirely new and wonderful, that would sort of begin to explain how I enjoyed Ancillary Justice.

I kind of regret not waiting until the whole trilogy was out tbh although probably better this way, for all I didn't need to spend that time on it this weekend I definitely didn't need to spend three times the time on it.

Here are some non-plot-related-but-possibly-spoilery thoughts under the cut:

Shipping, ft. ships )

On Radchaai gender )

I am totally going to have the two words "Anaander Mianaai" stuck in my head like a mantra for the next week. Thanks, Ann Leckie.

(23 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)


January 30th, 2014 07:08 pm - Invisible ficathon!
I've spent the last couple of days, in my spare time, playing around in the [community profile] invisible_ficathon tagset and learning about how to be a tagmod in an AO3 ficathon. (It is an amazing tagset so far, and you still have time to nominate, if you're lucky! ^_^

I finally put my own nominations in last night, and now I get to convince all of you to sign up to write them! As a lot of the fandoms in this fest will be, most of mine are pretty light on canon, so you should be able to sign up even if you didn't know them already

Here are the four of mine that have the easiest canon - all you need to write them should already be in this post!

  1. Howard Goldberg, Frontiersman is a book that appears in a couple of Daniel Pinkwater novels. It's the story of the first Orthodox Jewish Indian Scout in the US. The longest description of its contents is in Yobgorgle, as excerpted below: It was a pretty interesting book. )I know there are people reading this who have just been waiting to do justice to the story of the first Orthodox Jewish Indian Scout. Perhaps you are one of them?

  2. Wonder Wombat: This is another one that appears in several Daniel Pinkwater novels, as an old comic that people collect. (It is *not* related to the DC animated character or the video game character.) We know almost nothing about their contents - only that by the late 1970s, they were very sought after, and it was very difficult to collect a complete run of Wonder Wombat. Surely you all would like to volunteer to flesh out the story of Wonder Wombat! Come on. WOMBATS. OLD COMICS. What is not love?

  3. The Stonebender Family Stories by Jubal Harshaw: Jubal was a writer who was a character in some of Robert A. Heinlein's novels, and toward the end of The Number of the Beast, we get to hear a few paragraphs of one of his stories, written collaboratively by himself and an AI. Here is what we get: Uncle Tobias we kept in a bucket )
    That's it, that's all there is to know about the Stonebender family. Aren't you burned up with curiosity about why Uncle Tobias needed that bucket, or what exactly unsympathetic magic involves, or how Cousin Julius came to fit into the family, or who exactly the narrator is, or any number of other things? Yes, so am I. We should all offer to write this!

  4. The Jack Colquitt Adventures by Raul Bloodworth The Jack Colquitt Adventures were written under a pseudonym by the Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files. They are only mentioned in one episode, 4x07 "Musing of a Cigarette Smoking Man", which is often taken to be not-entirely-canon by the fandom. We know very little about them, except that they are adventure stories about aliens and assassinations, and that the published version was heavily altered from original manuscripts. Here are some excerpts:
    "Jack Colquitt sat alone in his apartment at Christmas. He believed in sacrifice. Yet, some nights, he longed for a second chance..."
    "I can kill you whenever I please... but not today"
    It's implied that the events of the episode, as narrated by Frohike, are loosely based on the Jack Colquitt story that was published. There's a transcript of the episode up at inside the x (hurrah for oldfandom and their episode transcripts!) and it's pretty easy to find the episode online to watch. You really don't need to know anything else about XF to write about Jack Colquitt - frankly, the less you know, the better, I suspect, although if you are as fond as I of CSM, you could also do glorious things with the possibilities.


Hurrah! I see no reason why those can not get many sign-ups. ^_^ Next up: the ones that require a bit more canon knowledge.

(10 comments | Reply)


March 29th, 2011 01:37 pm - This is what the inside of my head is like all the time.
List of fic I am not currently writing, no, absolutely not:

"Four times it wasn't Harry, and one time it was":
1. Wherein Herewiss s'Hearn and Sunspark go through a Door looking for other men who have the Fire, and meet Harry Dresden and Bob the Air Elemental instead, and there is a lot of playing around with Soulfire/Flame and annoying of Wardens and Wardresses (and possibly setting buildings on fire. Or sex.)
2. Wherein Howell Jenkins is trying to visit Wales but winds up somewhere under Edinburgh instead, and gets help from a certain Warden in staying under the Council's radar.
3. Wherein Har of Osterland, searching for a rumor of a shadow of Suth, instead meets a strange wizard of winter's ice in the Northern Wastes and plays a riddle-game with him.
4. Wherein the enchanter Sir Harold Shea is visiting Queen Mab and Queen Titania as an emissary of Queen Gloriana, and provides a much-needed dose of scientific rationality and clinical psychiatry to everyone involved.
5. Wherein Harry Callahan is never letting Dairine do a transit spell for him ever again, Ways are walked, and parenting advice is exchanged.


"Five More Days In Paradise"
1. In which Kincaid and Murphy visit Hawaii on a working holiday, and bring Ivy along this time. Lots of things blow up, Detective Kelly remembers their last visit all too well, and Ivy makes a new friend and gets to swim with the dolphins.
2. In which Joe Dawson and Adam Pierson came to Hawaii for a quiet retirement, which seems slightly at odds with the mysterious headless bodies and localized lightning storms that 5-0 keeps hearing reported on their private beach.
3. In which Danny Williams refuses to believe there is a full-rigged pirate ship just offshore, even after Captain Jack Sparrow shanghais him onboard. (Well, for definitions of "shanghai" that involve Steve, flirting and a lot of rum.)
4. In which Danny is uncertain why it is 5-0 who are explaining why they're in Hawaii to a couple of Canadian cops, but the phrase "killers of his father" gets bandied around a lot.
5. In which Superboy meets Steve McGarrett. And territorial displays happen.

...on the plus side, I seem to be mostly out of my all-RPF phase for now.

(9 comments | Reply)


December 28th, 2010 02:25 pm
I am back from my annual Winter Holiday away-from-internets-ness! I have not even started catching up on the DW posts I have missed, or the hundreds and hundreds of Yuletide recs, but I *did* get to my stories.

And as seems to be a trend, I have an embarrassment of riches again this year: three stories!

My assigned story is The End of the Enlightenment, based on A Night in the Lonesome October, and Awesome Author took up the challenge of writing about a Game other than the one in the book, and it is amazing! Alas, I am not knowledgeable enough about the place & time that author chose to recognize the characters immediately, but that is okay, because not really knowing just makes it creepier, plus! That means there is research to be done! Which is always a good thing!

I also got The Story of Elihu Yale, which fleshes out John Hodgman's account of the founding of Yale University, featuring Elihu Yale and his wise prostitute, and it is adorable!

And finally, there is Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, which is Myssmo/Law and Srafen/Hedgyt and comes in chapters, OMG. Author took up the challenge of writing queer lamnviin! And in a way that fills me with joy!

...also, while all the above stories are amazing on their own, two of the authors left notes to the effect that they plan to write more, which a) means more story for me someday YAY! and b) makes me feel slightly better about the fact that I did the same thing to my yuletide recipient. :/ Dear recipient: You seemed to like the story, and I hope you could not tell that I only wrote 1/4 of what I intended (and instead just assumed I'm not a very good writer) but I *do* still intend to write you the other 3/4. Hopefully by the time the archive opens again. Maybe?

Meanwhile, apropos of you-really-don't-want-to-know, here is a song I have written:
I want a Necronomicon for Solstice (only a Necronomicon will do.) )

(6 comments | Reply)


November 20th, 2010 01:12 am - Yuletide letter appendices
...shut up, appendices are totally not going overboard.

A Mobile Phone from 1912 )


Years of all Halloween full moons from the start of the Gregorian calendar to the 22nd century. )


...and now I feel like this post belongs as a missing chapter of Areas of My Expertise. A theme, I has one.

And since Bucketeers and Hodgman are feeling left out, here is an mp3 that will do for both: Jonathan Coulton sings Furry Old Lobster

(Reply)


November 19th, 2010 10:44 pm - Yuletide Letter
Hi yuletide writer person! And whoever else is nosing around!

I am not a scary person to write for. Seriously. Write me a story in one of the fandoms I asked for, and write it with love, or at least sympathy, for the characters and the fandom and the art of story, and I will be over the moon regardless.

I know a lot of people mention things they don't want, in their letters, but the only things I consistently don't want are things nobody does on purpose anyway, so I don't see much point in mentioning them. But if you are worried that you might write something I don't want accidentally - in my opinion, yuletide is about having fun, and about stretching yourself by writing in new fandoms: I don't expect my present to be a 10,000 word epic that involves all my kinks, fixes everything wrong with the fandom, ends injustice in the world, cures HIV and brings world peace. I mean, I would not be upset if you did manage that, but in general, if you feel uncomfortable writing something in one of my prompts, or worried that you're screwing it up? Don't worry about it. Write me something that makes you happy and it will make me happy too.

Also, you can cheat: earlier this year, I posted a list of 101 of my bulletproof narrative kinks. If you include at least one of those in your story, use proper dialogue punctuation, and double-space between paragraphs, then seriously, you can do no wrong.

Some general notes: I love crossovers, and I don't care if I know all the fandoms. If you get struck with a crossover idea, please, write it! (If you don't that is also okay.) And if you get stuck on the matched fandom, please look at the other fandoms I requested, you never know, you might fall in love - and I won't mind if you don't know all the details of canon. My DW is almost entirely unlocked, and feel free to rummage around among the tags and old posts if you feel like stalking me more.

Also, if for some reason you need to know more, [personal profile] stellar_dust is my sister, she groks yuletide, and I am hereby volunteering her as a go-between, explainer of things, and general dogsbody for you. :D

On the other hand, if you don't feel like stalking me more - if this letter is already too long for you (it is, objectively, already too long!) - feel free to ignore it. Everything you actually need to know is in the official request. And if you're somebody I already know - as I suspect you might be, for several of these fandoms - good luck, and cheers. :D

Under the cuts I am reposting my requests, adding short intros and resources on the fandoms I requested, and then going into more detail on ideas for stories (which is one thing I am never short of.) I am going to natter on at length, because OMG, a chance to natter on about my small fandoms and maybe even have an audience!

Compendium of World Knowledge - John Hodgman )

Miss Madelyn Mack Detective - Hugh Cosgro Weir )

Their Majesties' Bucketeers - L. Neil Smith )

A Night in the Lonesome October - Roger Zelazny )

Current Music:: JoCo - Furry Old Lobster
Current Mood:: [mood icon] accomplished

(23 comments | Reply)


November 12th, 2010 05:58 pm - love, awesome, and sparkles
1. I refuse to write, or post, or even start, a dear yuletide letter when nominations aren't even open yet. Sorry! (Well, I did do the relevant astronomical calculations, but that doesn't count.)

I have gone through and figured out what I'm offering, though. Since the time is significantly shorter this year, I decided I'm only offering fandoms that make me go "Ooh, yes! I want an excuse to reread/rewatch that in a hurry!" (as opposed to the usual criterion, which is "Ooh, I wish that had more fic, I bet I could acquire canon by the deadline." As a result, I'm only offering somewhere around 115 fandoms this time (depending on how the final list handles duplicates.)

2. A couple of days ago I got my sign-ups and induction stuff to be an AO3 tag wrangler. Which, yay? But I thought they weren't signing anyone up until after yuletide? And in fact wrangling is closed until after yuletide? So other than read through the docs, I am not sure what I am supposed to be doing about my new tag wrangler status. Other than continuing to lurk the chatroom, obvs. (Oh, AO3, your communication skills at the moment are so inspiring.)

3. I don't know how helpful this will be, but the long-running rift between two segments of fandom (with other segments chiming in from the sidelines) which has suddenly broken off the scabs and started bleeding again, hurts. I see it in a split down fandom communities; down my own circle of friends; and down my own self. So, I want to do this, if only for myself; and I would love to see other people do it, too; I don't know if it will help heal the rift, but it might help some of us across it.

I am a fan, I am a geek. I have always been. You may, reading this journal or my comments, get the impression that I am a slash fan and/or a media fan - and I will admit, my primary allegiance is to that community. But that's not all I am. That is the last, and in some ways the least, of my fannish IDs. What else am I? Well, in roughly chronological order:

I am a fan of genre fiction. )

I am a math, science, and tech geek. )

I am a science fiction fan. )

I am a comics fan. )

I am an anime/manga fan. )

I am a media fan and a slash fan. )


...wow, I totally didn't intend that to be the effect, but I am kind of filled with love and awesome and sparkles now after writing that. Love and awesome and sparkles to all fans everywhere, regardless of what kind of fans you are!

(27 comments | Reply)


November 3rd, 2010 08:14 pm - Vanyel and FictionAlley
I just had a dream that there exists an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series in which certain department heads on the U.S.S. Enterprise (headed by Captain Kirk) had taken to buying antique hardcovers of classic novels and leaving them lying around the Engineering break rooms in an attempt to wean Scotty off his technical manuals by giving him books that are beautiful hardware in their own right, with the result that Scotty and Cupcake and several other Engineering redshirts have started an enthusiastic book club that is reading the Valdemar novels.

And this animated episode I was watching even included a fairly long segment of what was actually happening in the novel they were discussing, in which Vanyel was drawn to quite closely resemble Spock in a glittery lavender version of Vulcan robes, and spent most of his time crying. In the rain. (As basically all I know about Valdemar is that Vanyel is gay and tragic, there are soulbonded horses, and the covers of my copies are pink and purple and sparkle, I'm kind of impressed with my brain for coming up with that. And traumatized.)

I'm not sure if I want to write that story more or less than I now want the Hot Fuzz story where Danny lends Nick the Valdemar books.

****

Anyway, I've been kind of vaguely following the FictionAlley vs. Pepsi controversy, and while it would probably be smarter of me not to, I feel compelled to add my $.02 American. (Look, me reading up on the intersection of neoliberal capitalism and self-enforced gift economies totally counts as research for my NaNo, okay? And sadly, that's actually true, and I only just now realized that part of what the economics in my novel is commenting on is fandom.)

This whole meta section here is just so I don't feel like I made a post just to talk about Scotty and Vanyel, because my subconscious thinks you guys expect more than that of me. If Scotty and Vanyel is a sufficient post for you, please do skip this section. )

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October 31st, 2010 06:22 pm - Sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia
Ah. Of course I wore my voice out the day before Reformation Sunday, when we sing all the good old traditional hymns.

Anyway, to make me less depressed after listening to Pastor's Reformation Day sermon, which was all about the deeply disappointing way the ELCA is (slowly, politely, quietly) attempting to schism itself over the issue of same-sex partnerships (which our Churchwide Assembly decided they approved of last year), here is an embed of the video our Presiding Bishop posted as part of the It Gets Better project, which [personal profile] beatrice_otter linked to a few days ago:
Video + transcript )
And, wow, I'd never really thought about the fact that Lutheran pastors have a specifically recognizable style, but it is so very painfully obvious what denomination he's from even without the intro. Which is to say: it's not by any means a perfect statement, but I am *so proud* of my Bishop for deciding to join the project, especially given the way his Church is spasming over it right now, and the cultural Lutheran more that you avoid divisiveness at all cost.

***

...oh, is there another holiday on 31 October? Sorry, you know how tunnel-vision us Christians can get about other folks' holidays. :P

I have very specific tastes when it comes to horror, I have come to realize.

The horror I find nicely shivery brings in a few particular factors: the unseen monster and the unknown fate; the incomprehensible but malignant outsider sentience; and the shift of ordinary things and places into sudden objects of fear.

The first horror-y fiction I ever read that I actually both found scary and liked was the classic fantasy novel The Face In The Frost, by John Bellairs. It's a short novel which combines parody/humor, classic quest fantasy with evil wizards, and that sort of deep horror of the mundane and unknowable. It stars two wizards named Prospero (but not the one you're thinking of) and Roger Bacon (also not the one you're thinking of) as they try to stop Melichus (a old schoomate of Prospero's) from evoking a formless, all-encompassing alien evil out of a mysterious book.

The book was clearly inspired by the Voynich manuscript, a deeply creepy Medieval book full of drawings of cyborg women, strangely biological-looking circle diagrams, and alien plants, which is written in a mysterious script that has never been decrypted. Melichus' book from The Face in the Frost is very similar, but it is finally read - by Melichus - after he discovers that, when you study the book obsessively, sleeplessly, compulsively, staring only at the pages of the book until all the rest of the world seems unreal - suddenly it wavers into something readable. Something alive, strange, something that wobbles between not quite real and too real to exist, but readable.

I've always wanted to mock up some pages of the book, properly bespelled, and since I finally found my stylus, I drew them for All Hallows. Here it is, a two-page spread from Melichus's evil book:
a two-column layout that looks like it's from a medieval manuscript, with intricate and creepy drawings of plants, circle diagrams, and naked women in plumbing all around the margins. The text is in an alphabet that is strangely familiar, but not one you know.
And yes, if you figure out how to read it properly, it really does decrypt by itself, one slow letter at a time, alive and wavering but readable, like the evil book in the story: there is proper magic in it.

The plaintext I used was a nonsense poem from later in the book. The marginals are directly inspired by the Voynich manuscript - luckily the artist of the Voynich wasn't a particularly good draftsman either.

If you figure it out or try try and fail, let me know? I've never really tested this method on anyone else, so I'd love to know how well it works. Anybody posting a full decryption within the next few days gets their comment screened, but discussion of methods is strongly encouraged. :D

ETA: If you want to know how this encryption works, [personal profile] siegeofangels worked out the cheating decryption method, and I give the rest of it away in comments to her entry.

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October 29th, 2010 08:59 pm - RALLY
Here is the list of things I need to do before leaving for the Rally in DC tomorrow:

list )

Sorry about that, but I was working at church for most of the day today, so I know I will be up until all hours getting ready for tomorrow, and at that point I need to make a very detailed list of things while my brain is still working, so I thought I'd share the joy with you.

Also while I am doing all that, I will be listening to the rest of the A Wizard on Mars audiobook I got from the library when it became clear they were never going to order a paper version. I'm about halfway through, and all I've got so far is Do I still need a spoiler cut for AWoM? )

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October 23rd, 2010 10:17 pm - This all does make sense, if you're me.
Oh help. I was just trying to copy-paste "katy manning naked dalek" into google search, but I hadn't actually copied the text, so what actually pasted was "neo-classical endogenous growth theory".

.... the sad bit is that it that I got the endogenous growth theory off a kink meme, not the Dalek porn. And that I got so distracted reading about endogenous growth theory that I still haven't looked up the Katy Manning pictures yet.

(Okay, now I have. You know, they say the Internet is for porn, but the Lego version now has a higher Google ranking than the original photoshoot...)

Right now I am re-organizing my library (again, yes, but they really needed it, they've been in a state ever since the last time I moved). This time it's by publisher and date of publication! What, I can find things at least as well that way by this point, and it sorts much more naturally by size that way, which is necessary in order to fit 2,700 books into one 10x15 room and still be able to pull out any one I want at five minutes' notice. And if I can't pull out any one I want at five minutes' notice, there is no excuse for me having them all. (My rule of dusting is "if it has stayed in one place long enough to accumulate dust, you should either get rid of it or put it into deep storage." Books don't get dusty.)

Anyway, I am starting to realize that there may come a day when my library is *finished.* I mean, not totally finished - people will keep writing amazing books, and I will keep buying them as soon as I find a used copy for less than $2, and there are some rare books that I will probably never find for less than $2 - but the backfilling? The catching up of two centuries of popular publishing that already happened? There may actually be an end in sight. The thing is I keep going to used book sales and discovering that everything they have that I'm interested in, I already own.

Today I went to the library thinking I might actually check out some books on topics related to a certain NaNo I'm not writing which may or may not also be related to endogenous growth theory, and coming home with nothing, because the only books on the shelves that I had any interest in reading were ones I already had at home. The end's not there yet - LibraryThing means always knowing exactly how many books you've bought this month, and I'm not exactly at a stop yet; there's a ways to go before I can walk into a used bookstore with a 50%-off-everything sale and come out empty-handed. But most of those large batches this year were me going through piles of uncatalogued stuff that was already more-or-less in the family. (Well. Okay, and reading copies given to me by friend-who-works-in-the-industry.) Whereas even three years ago, many of them were "went to big library sale, came out with 80 books."

I had never really thought of a book collecting as something that had a *limit* (even if it's one of those tricky limits that trails off but never quite reaches zero.)

...on the upside, though, when I go to a sale and don't find anything interesting among the books, that leaves me more time to look through the LPs...

Anyway. [personal profile] kate_nepveu's metafandomed post on crossover fandoms drew me like a moth to a flame, like it would, and somebody in her comments linked to The Finale of the Ultimate Mega Meta Crossover on fanfiction.net, which is, in fact, a(n) Ultimate Mega Meta Crossover.

I approve of mega meta crossovers just in *general* (as you might have noticed), and this one is amazing - it pulls in reality-crossing characters from 45 different story-worlds, puts them in a framework borrowed from a couple of Singularity-era SF novels (which normally annoy me, but with everyone from Merlin to Miles Vorkosigan refusing to take their premises seriously, it was far more palatable) in such a way that there is both plot and logic, and then lets them run.

It is so awesome it got me to sign it to my delicious account for the first time in months (okay, for the first time since I found the Sharpe/Temeraire crossover this summer, I have types, okay?)

(Also I recognized only 34 out of the 45 fandoms in that without cheating, I clearly need to read more SF.)

Also, the Ultimate Meta Mega Crossover gives Harold Shea the love and spotlight he deserves, which makes me even happier. If, by any chance, you don't know who Harold Shea is, he is the main character in the Compleat Enchanter series by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, which began in 1940 in the SF pulp magazines. As far as I am aware, it is the first (published, English-language fiction) in which a (geeky, fannish) character discovered a way to travel to universes that were fictional in his home universe, and thus is the patron saint of fourth-wall-breaking crossovers.

(He is even brillianter than that, in that the second universe he went to was Spencer's Faerie Queene. If you don't know Faerie Queene, it's basically fanfic of the novel Orlando Furioso, which was fanfic of the novel Orlando Innamorato, which was a crossover fanfic of the Roland cycle and the Arthurian romances, which were themselves, of course, fanfic of (probably Breton) derivative texts which are long lost. And Compleat Enchanter is itself a multi-author fanfic verse at this point. And it is fully self-aware of all the layers of meta it has going on. In 1940 in Unknown magazine.)

There needs to be more Harold Shea (and Amber, and Pantheistic Multiperson Solipsism, and etc--) fic out there, and there needs to be more massively multifandom multiverse fics, too. Especially ones that bring in fandoms like Young Wizards or Lazarus Long that let all the different fictional universes already be in formal contact with each other.

I was going to say "now I want to change my yuletide requests to put in some of my favorite canonical crossover universes", except of course I'm already requesting "A Night In the Lonesome October" which is already an epic multi-fandom canon crossover. :D I told you I had a type. And one of my prompts for it is totally going to be "Write about another future or past Game pulling in multiple crossover characters from some other place and time. Here's a list of Halloween full moons in the last three centuries. 1955 Japan, Jack and Snuff picking their way among the kaiju? 1944, with Indiana Jones and Jack Harkness and the BPRD and Spike and Dru and ....? 1925, Adele Blanc-Sec vs. Madelyn Mack vs. Mary Russell? 2020, the first Game in 65 years, with grown-up Luna and Neville and Nita and Kit and the Allbright twins and a Slayer or two acting on rumors they barely believe? Pick your characters! Pick your year! Go!"

...actually I kind of want to run a whole Night in the Lonesome October fic fest where everybody picks a Game year, and writes that crossover, but I suspect I could not get the participation. (Or, you know, you could run an amazing RPG, where the mod picks a year and a location, everybody else picks a character, and nobody knows who is Opening and who is Closing. You could even do that one in person or by mail, one day at a time - I bet you could adapt Amber Diceless to it, too. But that is way beyond my skill.)

Also I am very tempted to drop Hodgmanverse from my yuletide requests and replace it with Snarkout Boys, just to complete the set of Holmes pastiches. No! I shall be strong!

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June 2nd, 2010 01:16 pm - Kink bingo! (Just like everybody else!)
I signed up for [community profile] kink_bingo this year! I love how accessible they're making it: low pressure, the minimum is one 500-word story in a year, and they've emphasized that you don't have to be able to write explicit sex or sexual characters in order to play, so I'm fairly sure I can do it. My card:
My Card )
So everybody's going on and on about their kink_bingo cards, and how lucky they are, and I looked at mine and went "huh."

I don't think *any* of the kinks I was really excited about ended up on it, and the two stories-in-progess I'd been planning to use at cheats - each of which have so many kinks they could conceivably blackout a card on their own, with no overlap - are barely represented on the card at all.

I guess that serves me right! Anyway it'll be fun, even if I only end up managing one meta post or something.

I would like to note that as I was going through the kink_wiki yesterday, exploring my options, the questions I was coming up with were things like "Would a story about someone whose erogenous zones are primarily tactile negotiating a scene with someone whose erogenous zones are primarily aural (involving sonics that person A can't produce) work for the 'silence' square?" and "does crossdressing have to involve gender, or can it involve someone whose species doesn't wear clothing dressing up as a human?" and "is 'accidental soulbond with a mechanical life-form due to shoddy safety measures during repair work' suitable for the 'electricity' square?" and "Can I do 'wrist/ankle restraints' on somebody whose limbs don't exactly fit those categories?"

... which just goes to show what pairings I have been getting bunnies for lately. Actually, having gone down the entire kink list, there are only four kinks which require somebody to have a humanoid or vaguely humanoid body (five, if you count 'shaving', which requires a mammalian one at least) and I got three of them...

I also went out to work last night without actually remembering what was on my card, and I ended up plotting out in my head an amazing story - for a kink that's not on my card. But now I really, really want to write "How Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex Invented Strip Personality Chess, And What Happened Afterward." (Does kink_bingo give out prizes for "most stories written for the wrong card"?)

...I may at least have to write a Bran/Tru 'ship manifesto, since Mymy/Vyssu/Mav has been such a hit. :D ...and I'm so tempted to try for a bingo with all non-human or cross-species pairings.


Anyway I was going to try to make this short, but this *is* me, and it's an excuse to talk about kink and about ideas for stories I'll probably never write, so here's some brainstorming for every square )

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March 19th, 2010 07:31 pm - Mymy/Mav/Vyssu, OT3 4eva, srsly.
How about another post about the female characters of Sherlock Holmes fandom? (It's weird how *much* I have fixated on Mary Morstan in this fandom - I'll read the Holmes/Watson if it comes strongly recommended, but I only really get enthusiastic about any given fanwork if it has Mary (or Irene, or Mrs. Hudson but that never happens, so mostly Mary) in it, with the result that I've not been submerged nearly as much as I thought I would be. It's strange to be in a fandom where I'm actually exhibiting *taste* to the extent it limits my reading.)

There is not nearly enough of this sort of story coming through del.icio.us. So I have descended to going to the library and checking out these things made of sheets of paper glued together on one edge - apparently, you can get Holmes fanfic in that format, too. And apparently, if you want novels about the women, you're more likely to find them there...

First, though, a few more fic recs:

Scenes from an Unusual Domestic Arrangement, by [archiveofourown.org profile] lalaietha/[personal profile] recessional, OT4: If you're reading Holmes fic, you already know to read everything [personal profile] recessional writes, but if you only read one, read this one: it is the OT4 that must exist.

Imagine Me and You (and You and You), by [livejournal.com profile] flash_indie, OT4: More Mary-heavy OT4 that is awesome! And it's novella-length! This has Mary joining the boys as a full partner in the detectiving, and a really interesting working-out of the poly dynamic over time. Mary is occasionally a bit too modern for my taste, but the story carries you along anyway.

Not A Rational Organ, by [livejournal.com profile] bluepercy, bookverse, gen-ish with Holmes/Mary and implied OT3: This was written well before the movie and seems to have got very little attention post-movie, which is a shame, because I love it lots, and I believe it happened. Watson is taken captive as a result of one of Watson's cases, and Mary insists on coming with Holmes on the rescue, and they both love Watson enough to let him go, and during the adventure Holmes gets confused, stops seeing Mary as an enemy, and starts having unfamiliarly heterosexual thoughts about her. The only complaint I have about this story is it isn't the beginning of a twelve-book series.

Checkmate, by [personal profile] random_nexus, gen-ish OT3: another story from the pre-movie fandom. This is a short bit that is simply a conversation between Holmes and Mary Watson, in which she out-maneuvers, out-manipulates, and out-deduces him, and he likes it, and she knows he does. If that isn't enough to get you to read, well, we clearly have fundamental differences in our ways of thinking.


And now for the published fic: since this was written and printed for money, I am more comfortable being openly critical of it even when I liked it overall. So these reviews are at, um, somewhat greater length. (but, then, the stories are also of somewhat greater length.)

Good Morning, Irene, aka The Adventuress by Carole Nelson Douglas
Note: this is very much not movieverse Irene. I like this one better. )

Verdict: Will not be reading out of order, but will be keeping my eye out for the first book in the series.


Mrs. Hudson and the Spirits' Curse, by Martin Davies
Okay, when I heard that this series *existed* - the series in which Holmes is fairly incompetent and Mrs. Hudson is secretly feeding him all the clues - I knew I wanted try it out, even if it was crack-addled and/or just plain bad. )(Mrs. Hudson! More people need to write about Mrs. Hudson, yo! If Martin Davies can do it, so can you!)

Verdict: Fun but not life-changing; would read more if I stumbled upon it. Also, very glad it exists.


Their Majesties' Bucketeers, by L. Neil Smith
This is an AU where Holmes and Watson are Lamviin - small, trilaterally symmetrical crustaceans who live on a desert planet that is in their species' equivalent of our Victorian period. Also, they do *everything* in threes, not just symmetry - including sex and gender. )
Verdict: Will SO be requesting for Yuletide. :D (Also, *so* glad it exists. And Mymy/Mav/Vyssu is still my canon OT3 for all Holmes fandom everywhere. I had forgotten how deeply I loved this book in high school - my copy is falling apart, and I still have stretches memorized, ten years since my last re-read.)


...and while I was returning some of these to the library, I checked out the first Mary Russell book. And one of the Moriarty books (the series where it's Moriarty who secretly solves the crimes and gives Holmes the credit - no, I'm not sure how that works either) so there may be another set of these, after I read those. Also, I checked out Lord John and the Private Matter, Monstrous Regiment, and Pride/Prejudice, for all your Queer Age of Sail needs. I have reviews of those half-written that I'll probably post to [community profile] age_of_sail when they're done.

Current Music:: john oliver

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