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March 24th, 2011 02:35 am - DINOSAUR ATTACK
I have been getting really cranky about all sorts of minor things for the past week or so (maybe once the cramps let up it will improve?) ranging from why the lay/lie thing makes me angry to why Sherlock fans annoy me to evo-psych hate. I got out the Sherlock gripe on [community profile] asexual_fandom, and we're probably all glad the essay on lay vs. lie is staying safely on my hard drive, but then there was this one, which I decided was best expressed as Dinosaur Comics fanart, see below:

Dinosaur Comics. With Feathers.
ETA: This image is freely available to anyone who wants to repost or remix!

Because we have known about feathered dinosaurs for longer than I've been alive, we've known that nearly all theropods probably had some sort of feather-like structures for at least a decade, and yet young kids are still learning it the wrong way from new books, there is positively no excuse for people to be doing new illustrations of these creatures and ignoring that. It goes beyond 'Wrong on the Internet' to 'What Is Wrong With Humanity'? Grrr. Arrgh. Hisss. (And yes, Sue in the Dresden Files is part of the problem, though I can fanwank it that she was at least 90% a construct and shaped by what Harry expected her to look like.)

Trancript )

Some scientific notes )


In other news, I was attacked by a dinosaur last weekend! I was lying in my tree, taking a nap, and listening to my mp3 player, when this dinosaur just swooped down at me from above, all feathery and stuff! It landed right next to me, and then jumped onto my chest and just sat there, right on me, and stared at me for awhile with its cold eyes.

I think it was one of these. Possibly simultaneously one of the most awesome and terrifying things that has ever happened to me. :D


In possibly related news: TetZoo is my current favorite blog. If only because, if someone as amazing as Darren Naish can get constantly distracted by shiny things and keep promising to do a certain post for years before he finally gets around to it, there's hope for people like me. Also, as witness my dinosaur attack earlier, I am ashamed to say I am really ignorant on common passerines. TetZoo almost manages to make them interesting.

(Here's Naish on feathered dinosaurs from 2007, already somewhat out of date but a good overview of the work coming out in the last decade.)

(42 comments | Reply)


December 16th, 2010 10:46 pm
I have finally posted more of How the Master Stole Christmas! The next two pages (both double-page spreads) are up at [community profile] doctor_and_master: How the Master Stole Christmas Episode 2. It's also up at my dA account, in the SeussWho gallery, if you'd rather read there, though without the extra text-only pages.

But I am reposting the latest page on this journal anyway, because I am proud of myself and want to look at it some more :P
Why for nine hundred years I've put up with it now! )

...I finally finished that update because I told myself I wasn't allowed to draw any lolitics girlband!AU fanart until I finished the Who-Christmas-Sing. I know, I know, normal people are motivating themselves around their yuletide at this point, but whatever, I have my plot, I have a very clever way to cheat and quadruple my wordcount, and I know I can churn out a few thousand words as soon as I make myself sit down and concentrate.

And in the meantime there is girlband!AU. :D This is the latest shared-world AU of awesome to take over the lolitics meme. I don't know - do other anon fic memes do these amazing shared AUs? The other ones I've followed haven't but then I haven't followed them as immersively. Anyway, girlband!AU involves taking the democratic leaders, past and present, of Great Britain (and occasionally other countries) and re-casting them as members of Spice-girls-esque girlpop bands. And they make so much more sense that way, OMG, just.

Plus it is helping with my ongoing feelings of guilt about being all into British politics and ignoring the US! By turning them into genderswapped shallow pop-culture celebs with zero actual relevance, instead of people who are supposed to be FIXING THE WORLD DAMMIT, I can finally get detached from policy enough to think about US politicians without wanting to stab myself in the gullet! \o/

(Yes, I know, [personal profile] sarken did it first with Disney Band PRT. But still I am in love! And also I have discovered Sleevage, the blog for people who are more interest in the art of album cover design than in the actual music. I just wish its search engine worked better. ... I really need to attempt to organize my blogroll again.)

(2 comments | Reply)


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.

(24 comments | Reply)


October 30th, 2010 09:43 pm - That. Was. Awesome.
...although to be honest I would have seriously considered going just so I could jump for Adam and Jamie. :D

Some notes from the Rally, mostly covering things that wouldn't have shown up on the TV coverage:

Some random notes on the Rally )

Anyway: Jon and Stephen live are adorbs. I hope Mitchell and Brooker are that adorable when they get their live show. And are forced to sing just as much.

12 photos, mostly crowd shots )

Current Mood:: [mood icon] exhausted

(25 comments | Reply)


October 5th, 2010 09:56 pm - HAPPY BIRTHDAY STELLAR_DUST!
Now that my laptop is mostly working and I have free hard drive space, I can do things like digitize more 33 RPMs again! hooray.

So I have digitized some 33 RPMs. :D This post is a birthday present for my sister, who has said I should do some of these, but the rest of you are welcome to share them too.

Man On The Moon/CBS Enterprises/Narrated by Walter Cronkite + Sounds of the Space Age/National Geographic/Frank Borman/1969 )

The In Sound from Way Out: Electronic Pop Music of the Future created by Perrey-Kingsley )

...and finally, this isn't a 33 RPM rip, it's a .zip file that contains both of Nichelle Nichols' vocal albums. Because [personal profile] stellar_dust once gave me a giant mp3 torrent/archive that had "all the albums ever put out by Star Trek people", and it didn't include these, which was a crime on several levels. And so I found them, and have been meaning to share them more widely for some time.

The .zip includes Down to Earth, produced in 1967, which is a collection of Ms. Nichols singing '60s lounge/pop/standards, and is unsurprisingly really very good if you like lounge/pop/standards (which I do. Why didn't they have *her* be the TNG holodeck crooner?) It also includes Out of This World, a later album of original songs themed around space and Star Trek, and is (perhaps surprisingly?) really bad. I mean, worse that Shatner's albums. Her voice is still excellent, but the songs they gave her to sing are cringingly bad; the music direction somehow even managed to screw up her vocal cover of the TOS theme.

Uhura.zip

(...also there will be cakes later. Under lock.)

(9 comments | Reply)


September 29th, 2010 09:59 pm - FANDOM NEWS NOW
1. If you want to know where I am in terms of fandom-ness at the moment, I did finally post a polished (and much abridged) version of The Guide To International Fake News (English-language edition) at [community profile] punditfic - that pretty much covers it. October approacheth with alacrity, which means new Have I Got News For You soon! Quite Interesting is back already! I am writing a Paul/Ian schoolboys AU! And there is a march on Washington to go to!

2. Also, I need to print out a copy of Balanced Conversationalist so that I can roll it up and be thwacked on the head with it when necessary. (I have actually been where liberal!Stephen is in that strip. Except I have gone past "ritual suicide is cultural appropriation" to "you having persistent suicidal thoughts at all is ablist appropriation of actual depressed people's lives, anyway!" Yeah. That's actually kind of why I suddenly fell into BBC RPF; for awhile there it was the only thing I could watch or read that didn't trigger severe liberal guilt spirals. (That's not why I'm still in to it, mind; the cure has mostly worked - I'm still into it because it's lovely and topical and gay, and US news is currently making me depressed for entirely different reasons.)

3. And for something completely different, here are Paul McDermott and Mark Trevorrow singing a duet of "Stop in the Name of Love" like the 'old show-biz pals' they are (complete with crotch-nuzzling), from Good News Week several weeks ago. You're welcome.
My first video embed ever! )

4. Oh, speaking of small punk-ish boys doing stagegay! Everybody is all excited about the new MCR shenanigans! And I am puzzling over why I can get into fandoms for everyone from slightly pathetic Australian comedians to Swiss figure-skaters to British wine critics but I remain largely uninterested in bandom, despite the fact that I *want* to like MCR. I think there are several factors, but the one I can't get past is that I can't listen to their music. :/ It's not that I dislike their music, it's just that there's something people can do with electric guitars that makes me filter all of their music out as mental static, and whatever it is, MCR does it a lot. I literally can't listen to it. And 90% of media interviews with celebrities of any sort trip my embarrassment squick. Bandom has its own canonical term for embarrassment squick, which is one of many reasons I want to like it. But if I can't do the interviews or the music, it makes it very difficult to get more into the fandom than just reading the more highly-recced crackfic.

...in summary, you should all read River Rats by Caroline Stevermer, and then we all can write book-based cheerfully post-apocalyptic rockstar gutterpunk epics instead, and I won't have to listen to the music. ^_^ (Although Loitering With Intent I can actually listen to! Though probably not the River Rats' cover. I should totally throw together a River Rats fanmix. With nanananananana in it, yes, I'll just have to skip that track.)

5. I watched Hot Fuzz last night! Only a few years after everybody else was over it! Okay, I sort of get the Simon Pegg & Nick Frost thing now, although I also need more Bill Bailey. (Good thing he was just on QI!) And I kind of want to watch it again :D (And, wow, it is really obvious which scenes were originally written for a female love interest.) Please tell me somebody has written crossover fic about Nicholas Angel and Sam Tyler? I mean, it must exist, right? I just haven't been looking for it the right way?

6. I need to stay firm. My yuletide requests are Miss Madelyn Mack, A Night In the Lonesome October, Their Majesties' Bucketeers, and Hodgmanverse; I decided than months ago. NOBODY LET ME CHANGE MY MIND.

Current Mood:: [mood icon] bouncy
Current Music:: Think it o-o-over~~~ I've been good to you~~

(8 comments | Reply)


June 24th, 2010 11:28 am - WE INTERRUPT YOUR ONGOING CON.TXT COVERAGE FOR A VERY IMPORTANT LIVE NEWS UPDATE
cat and baby bird

This is a picture of my sister's cat Bingley, on one side of the screen on the screen porch. On the other side of the screen on the screenporch, and by "on the other side" I mean they are both practically touching it, is a rather young baby bird that can't quite fly yet.

This situation has been ongoing for about half an hour now, up and down the front of the porch. The baby bird either realizes Bingley can't get to it and is being gratuitously cruel to her, or genuinely thinks the cat is its mummy; it is not acting scared, it is acting bratty.

On the upside, Bingley has so far resisted the temptation to claw at the screen! \o/ Good kitty, I forgive you for puking where I would step in it barefoot last night.

(We are all out on the screenporch because after almost a week straight of 90°F+/35°C weather with humidity averaging 50%, even having a very well-designed, all-masonry house no longer quite cuts it.)

(5 comments | Reply)


June 13th, 2010 04:33 pm - Lean and Dangerous
I have been having a very Fortean sort of a week.

We went on a road trip out to Michigan, and there's something very Fortean in general about an American road trip; it doesn't help that the reading material I brought along was two books by Loren Coleman, including "Mysterious America". And then I actually wrote a thousand words or so of the Great American Werewolf Novel, which surprised me.

We came back by way of my sister's archeology field school in Boston, and while there, I saw three UFOs, and I also saw a real, honest-to-goodness pair of concealed shoes (and then embarrassed myself by regaling them all at length over supper about the history and folkore of concealed shoes, oops. I have settled myself so nicely into my current niche of people - RL and online - who are totally groovy about people who know things, and are enthusiastic about the knowing of things, that I've forgotten the knack of, you know, not spontaneously being Quite Interesting all over everything.)

Anyway, then, just this afternoon, a friend of a friend called me to tell me about how she's been hearing this weird hum, intermittently, when she's in houses in her neighborhood, and some of her neighbors can hear it and some can't, so as my good deed for the day, I sent her to the wikipedia page on The Hum.

...possibly this is the universe trying to tell me I should do something more than just idly wonder about the possibility of graduate school in folklore.

Anyway, that is not what you're interested. What you're interested in, obviously, is pictures of cats. so here are some pictures of cats. )
The cat above - aka Miss Georgiana Darcy - has decided that I am never to be out of her eyesight. I don't know why. But I thought I was done being creepily followed around by cats. At least this one leaves me alone on the toilet. And at night, where my bedroom is under the paws of her dear sister, Miss Caroline Bingley, who perches on the one square foot of clear space on my top bunk and surveys her domain.


*Well, they *were* unidentified objects. Until one of them landed at the dig site, and several of the students braved life and limb (and stinging nettles) to haul it back to camp, and it turned out to be an elementary school class project. Still kind of weird and creepy looking though. :D

(10 comments | Reply)


May 8th, 2010 10:31 am - Not Exactly Follow Friday (Again)
It says ... something ... about just what kind of a dork I am that I went to see Iron Man II, and while there were many things about the movie that I liked and would enjoy discussing, the actual squee!OMG! moments?

TESSERACTS!
DOUBLE PENDULUM!!!

...I guess I am still a math geek at heart.

Also, a double pendulum (aka "Chaos Machine") is the best symbol for movie!Tony ever. I could go on and on about the scene with Tony and the double pendulum.

If I was the sort of person who could make things like that, I would figure out how to make a wind-up clock with a double-pendulum tick. I have wanted to for years. Since I can't, I am so tempted to go down to the cave tonight and build me just the pendulum, counterweighted to swing a long time like the one in the movie. With a box of scraps.

(Note: this is not cut because neither the pendulum nor the tesseracts have any actual spoilery significance whatsoever; they were set dressing. Thus my enormous levels of geekery.)

***

Click on this cut if you would like to see some racy vintage postcards of silent-movie era Hollywood Bathing Beauties. )

If you are not interested in racy vintage postcards of women wearing bathing costumes I would dearly like to own, then we clearly have very different tastes in postcards. But perhaps you would be more interested in one of these posts I have recently made on dreamwidth communities:

At [community profile] sca_attire, photographs of me wearing nothing but a period linen shirt! I understand some of you are interested in that sort of thing. Also featuring: discussion of crossdressing while re-enacting, and me whining about how sewing is hard.
At [community profile] topgearslash (locked) and [community profile] crossovers (unlocked), Part One of the Top Gear/Dr. Who(/Torchwood/Sarah Jane/Big Finish) crossover of doomy doom! (Featuring: men who love their cars and/or spaceships too much, and also bonus multimedia enrichment downloads.)
At [community profile] poetry, this week I am posting an elaborate four-part stealth argument-by-example for poetry as fanwork: NASA RPS from 1970, three variations on Dover Beach, and about a Flemish tapestry. And also some very silly things.
And at [community profile] common_nature, an account of a trip to the beach, in which there are kites, hidden treasures and fossil-hunting.

****

Also, overcome by election coverage (OMG, I have discovered that it is possible to be fannish over election results for countries that *are not mine*! So exciting: all the fun, 75% less stress. Hooray!) I have started writing up a post - probably to be posted to [community profile] punditfic - entitled "A Guide To British Fake News for Americans". Are there any British persons reading this who would like to look it over before I post it, for blatant errors?

I also now really, really want the alternate future where David Mitchell started the revolution, Charlie Brooker led it, Andy Zaltzman ended up Home Secretary, and mtf!Patchula J. Oliver spent years in prison after Bristol Palin was elected President of the USA. (They write these things *for* us, guys.)

And finally, if you would like to be on my "obsessing over diversity, privilege and appropriation re: my original characters as an excuse to not actually write anything in their universes" filter, first post to go up soon entitled "wow I have a lot of trans* characters", please click here:
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 38

I would like to be on the original fiction filter:

Yes!
38 (100.0%)


(28 comments | Reply)


February 22nd, 2010 03:08 pm - Wulf and Eadwacer
So, a long, long time ago, before I had an online journal or interacted with fandom in any way, back before Wikipedia ruled the internets, I used to post on Everything2, which is a wikipedia competitor with a very different structure, ethos, and culture. (As much as I do like the Wiki system, I wish more sites used an E2 framework instead - I think it would've worked really well for fanlore, for ex., with its emphasis on multiple voices and automatic flow.)

Anyway, one of the things I posted there, over eight years ago (!!!), was an attempted translation of the Old English poem Wulf and Eadwacer into poetic Modern English. I'm no Anglo-Saxon scholar, but I go through phases of reading lots of early English poetry and poking at the language, so it may be a bad translation, but I like the poem, and I like my version better than any of the other translations I've found, and I have nothing at all staked on it being a good translation, so critique it all you want. (I am, oddly, very fragile when it comes to criticism of my fiction - I can get scared into writing nothing for months even by *effusively good* feedback - but have a very thick skin about my poetry - say whatever you want about it, it won't change what the poem means to me.)

So there's this translation, that's been sitting pretty much ignored on a website that's been slowly dwindling in readership, until [personal profile] shanaqui with her riddles on [community profile] poetry inspired me to look it up again and repost my Wulf and Eadwacer there.

And what should I discover but that someone has quoted my translation in an academic paper, as far as I can tell from Google pretty much in full, and published it in the journal "Language and Literature" only this month.

I am trying to articulate why this pisses me off so much. Given that I generally approve of fair use and quotation and derivative/transformative work with or without permission, and am pretty radically anti-intellectual-property in general, and strongly support acafandom in using internet postings in published papers, I ought to just be happy that somebody (somebody who I rather admire as a writer and scholar) has noticed my un-expert little translation and thought it worth talking about.

But, well, what pisses me off? Is that the journal's publisher wants 25 dollars from me in exchange for the privilege of looking for only 24 hours at the article about my work that they published without even notifying me.

<I>That</i> pisses me the hell off (pardon my Anglo-Saxon. And Old French.) Cue rant. )

Short version: if Transformative Works and Cultures was pay-only, I would be a lot less supportive of it, that's for darn sure.

(I tend to think that fanacademia, even beyond TWC, tends to be fairly good about freely sharing info - even when papers are published behind pay-only, it's been fairly easy for me to get copies for free - but that might be because accumulated fanmeta rep has gotten *me* inside several locked walls of access that I don't even see any more.)

(Also, said fan network has already gotten me a copy of the paper about Wulf and Eadwacer that discusses me. I am now officially recorded in the ongoing conversation of Western Thought as "Melannen, a kind of 'groupie' for wit and wisdom" --- I'll take it! Could be worse. Also, my e2 post is "not exactly post-structural exegesis," but rather "a crude recommendation" to "make the empty room exciting with your own furnishings". Hmm, you know, I don't have any titles on my DW journal pages yet... :D But seriously folks, it's a reasonably good paper which is doing pretty much the same thing I tried to do in my e2 post but better - the quotes are actually a compliment, because I'm the only one of six translators - including Burton Raffel - he actually discusses at any length whatsoever. Even if he is baffled by the internets and the way learnings happen there. And he got the date of publication of the E2 entry wrong by five years somehow. And altered my translation in a fairly significant way without, apparently, noticing.)


...er. Speaking of the value of a public domain, last weekend I was at Farpoint - my first ever sci-fi con! - and spent most of the time trying to pretend it was con.txt, which meant hanging around the do-it-yourself panel rooms and figuring out how to talk about fanfic in them without outright admitting I'm a fanfic writer. (Panels I either gave or attended: Writing SF Erotica, DIY Social, SF Worldbuilding, Webcomics 101, Sex and SciFi, Not Everyone's a Pro, Copyright/Copywrong, Convention Sales for Creative Types, and Sherlock Holmes. I want to talk more about the con later, but this post is going to be long enough already.)

One of the coolest ones I attended was The Copyright, Copywrong panel, which was recorded and is available as a podcast. )
...anyway it also features me as "person in audience who wouldn't stop talking". Hear! Me attempt to talk to Marc Okrand without getting squee all over him! Hear! Me slip slash discussion in under the radar by casually mentioning the OTW without explaining what it is! Hear! Me get scolded for talking too much and not letting other people participate! Hear! Me completely fail to mention Interrobang Studios, which is ostensibly why I was at the con!


(and for the record, if I was not so lazy I would officially put all of my work under a creative commons share-alike license, the share-alike being most important and the attribution being least.)

Current Mood:: [mood icon] amused

(30 comments | Reply)


February 6th, 2010 07:03 pm - Snow!
So, as I do live in, you know, the place that has just broken about half of their all-time snow records, we were without power for about twelve hours today, and we're now hoping it will stay on.

I was expecting that when I got back online you would be flooded with snow pictures and sick of them! But no, there hasn't even been anything on [livejournal.com profile] urban_nature. So you get to look at mine.

We got very close to exactly 24 inches before it stopped in late afternoon, as near as I can tell, though it's drifted as high as three feet in a lot of places. The landscape passed Thomas Kinkade levels of threat quite a while ago and is now well in to what can only be described as Seussian.

*Nice* snow-fort making conditions, too. I think we may be attempting to build a full-domed snow shelter tomorrow if the freeze holds like it's meant to. Today was half shoveling and half just wandering around marveling at things.

20 photos under cut + 2 more )

(29 comments | Reply)


January 4th, 2010 12:20 am - Why yes, this post is longer than the fic.
I haven't had time to do much reading in the yuletide archive yet, but I want to talk about the fandom I wrote in, which was Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective.

When I was hinting around about what it was, [personal profile] elspethdixon guessed "a steampunk comic about superheroes fighting crime in 1890s NYC, that being the most awesome madlibs example I can think of at the moment."

She was incorrect: it's actually a collection of short stories and two mostly-lost silent films, not a comic; and they were written between 1909 and 1914, not in the 1890s.

...the rest was pretty much right. I was going for "A hundred-year-old book about lesbians fighting crime in gaslit New York City."

Since it's mostly only steampunk in that Madelyn carries a pocket telephone, and in that it's set in the era when most of the steampunk technology was actually becoming real; and it's mostly only superheroes in that her dear companion Nora is a girl reporter working for the Daily Bugle, and in that they are both very good at fighting crime.

But then, they're only lesbians in that ... no, actually they're fairly obviously lesbians to anyone who's read the book, and my yuletide feedback agrees with me on that :D

[personal profile] cinaed, my assigned recipient, describes the fandom as " - it's pretty much a genderswap of Holmes and Watson". It's not the fandom we matched on (there will be a post about that one later), but how was I supposed to resist at least looking it up with a summary like that?

The complete Madelyn Mack story collection is available for free download through archive.org, and the PDF is illustrated with stills from the films. The Alice Joyce website also has contemporary reviews of the lost films.

I started reading ...three pages in, and Madelyn telling Nora how she's a greater detective than "our old friend Sherlock Holmes" because women are naturally better at that sort of thing, and I was pretty much a lost cause.

So is it really just a genderswap of Holmes and Watson set in gaslight New York City? I have prepared a convenient comparison chart so you can judge for yourself!

Convenient Comparison Chart for Sherlock Holmes and Madelyn Mack )

Final score: Sherlock 4, Madelyn 12 Madelyn wins!

Am I seriously claiming it's better than Holmes? No, of course not. Nora and Madelyn and the world they inhabit are fabulous and fabulously drawn, and as Edwardian genre stories they are certainly still eminently readable, and I am so very, very glad they exist; and a blatant Holmesian pastiche that consistently fails the reverse Bechdel is just so much *fun* to play in, and I really do wish they had a living fandom like Holmes has (or, failing that, they were part of Holmes-universe fanon!) But realistically, the mysteries aren't nearly as clever, as a writer Hugh C. Weir is no Conan Doyle, and with only five stories and two lost film shorts to work with, there's not nearly as much there.

And then there's the last and longest story, The Purple Thumb. TPT is ... problematic.

Extensive notes on 'The Purple Thumb' and its problems )

An outline of the fixit fic I would have written, had I world enough and time )

As for the story I actually wrote, as opposed to the one I dreamed about:

Silver Buttons All Down Her Back, 4300 words, explicit Madelyn/Nora first-time, gratuitous Sherlock Holmes crossover and clapping-rhyme references. I think it's possibly the best fic I have ever published, certainly the best I've done for yuletide. Damning with faint praise, I know.

Notes on 'Silver Buttons' )

I really feel like I want to talk more about why Miss Madelyn Mack is so deeply awesome, but really, the story I wrote is 4,300 words of me showing you all why, and after staring at this entry for several hours days, I realize that what I actually want to do is a line-by-line director's commentary of my fic. So...there is going to be another entry up shortly with that.

Anyway!

If you didn't feel like wading through all that, here's what you should know: Miss Madelyn Mack and Miss Nora Noraker are genderswapped Holmes and Watson in New York city; they are awesome and every bit as slashy as their counterparts, only with petticoats; and you can read the entire book at archive.org legally: Miss Madelyn Mack Detective; and you should. Also I will so be cosplaying her at some point: I already have a vintage 1914 black gown and black lace petticoats a Victorian adventurer's magnifying glass and stompy boots and an awesome hat; all I need is some cola berries and a locket to put them in! (I really want to find & try some kola nut, actually, it sounds interesting.)

Here is a picture of Miss Madelyn Mack:

Current Mood:: [mood icon] artistic

(24 comments | Reply)


July 27th, 2009 11:33 pm - be that girl
I am deeply amused that my last post had some neat music and meta, and a link to a filk project, and a dozen panels of fanart, but 80% of the feedback was about the sketch of AU Rachel in déshabillé.

SO let's talk about AU RPS girlsex, yesno? :D

I have a file that's been sitting on my desktop for about six months, entitled "Thirteen Ways Rachel Maddow (never) Had Lesbian Sex With Keith". I started it way back in February, after the big meta discussion about the ethics of 'shipping a real-life lesbian with a (presumably) straight man - the f_w post that rounded it all up has been deleted, but the start of it (more or less) was my comment here about Rachel/Keith and genderswap in [personal profile] havocthecat's journal. So Rachel, Keith, and genderfuckery, yes.

I have been slowly adding to the file in bits and bobs ever since, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm never going to write these stories (though if I did write one out full-length, it would be either #5 or #13. Or #10 and #11. Or #8 and #9. Or...)

Anyway! Yes, I totally love the story-sketches in that file and wish they existed full length: the reason I will never write them (besides my general inability to finish fic) is that I have come to realize that I still have limits when it comes to RPS. I'll read anything (well, theoretically: large sections of RPS still bore me); I'll draw anything (that I'm willing to draw in any other live-action fandom, anyway, there are limits to where I'll go with real peoples' bodies even if they're playing other people); I'll write genfic and AUs and really mild 'ship stories and crossover AUs set in an entirely different world. But when it comes to writing sex between real live people who have their own lives and know how to use the internet -- even under the safety net of "things that never happened" - I just squick myself when I sit down to write.

SO! Anyway! I am not writing the 13 ways Keith/Rachel lesbian sex stories. But the file as sitting on my desktop is around a thousand words anyway. And it has fanart. And a fanmix. That have also been sitting on the hard drive for months. So I'm just going to post it all. Yay?

Thirteen Ways Rachel Maddow (never) Had Lesbian Sex With Keith Olbermann )

here be artings )

The fanmix: 'I'll Be That Girl: Music To Bend Gender To' )

Current Music:: the Rachel Maddow Show
Current Mood:: [mood icon] awake

(27 comments | Reply)


July 24th, 2009 11:14 am - knock and the door shall be opened
So! Stuff has happened. The most relevant, however, is that I have fallen in love.

With a radio show!

I was driving home t'other night and stumbled on a re-run of Tapestry of the Times on my very own local public radio station, WYPR, and it's like it was a radio show designed solely for me. 1

It's a hour of music, history, context and commentary that is entirely from the archives of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the non-profit record label started in the 1960s for the purpose of documenting folk and world music and later taken over by the Smithsonian. I'm sure it has some appropriation issues - rich white people recording other peoples' culture always does - but Folkways has always at least tried to be non-exploitative, and oh my god, if I had all the time and money in the world I would have already bought out the Folkways back catalog. This show did it for me and picks out an hour's worth of good stuff a week, just enough, and omg yay.

They have their entire archives up as mp3/podcast on the website (less than a year's worth, so far), and I am slowly (savoringly) working through it. The last episode I listened to features "blues piano from Memphis Slim, marimba music from Guatemala, labor union songs, World War II anthems, Tuvan throat singing, and classic old-time tunes from Doc Boggs and Roscoe Holcomb." SERIOUSLY, could there possibly be any radio show better made for me?

As a bonus, most of these songs are basically impossible to find as pirate downloads, so I can't go and download another gig of mp3s that I don't need after every episode. :D (so I downloaded the complete Smothers Brothers discography instead, help p.s. does anyone have any peggy seeger tracks i think i have fallen in love with her too.)

1Mind you, I am the girl who spent her high school years with the radio tuned to the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential tapes instead of rock'n'roll, so my taste may not be yours.


Also, while I am on the topic of hippy music, [personal profile] wintercreek made an mp3 recording of herself singing Enterprise, Starship, the John Denver filk that gets sung on the Enterprise in the novel The Wounded Sky, and posted it to [community profile] starry_sea. You guys, [personal profile] wintercreek is amazing; she has - no lie - fulfilled a childhood dream of mine. Even if that community never does anything ever again, it was all worth it for that.

Ain't fandom amazing? Ask, and it will be given!

Anyway [personal profile] wintercreek mentioned wanting to get a bunch more voices to add to make it a singalong, so I did: Enterprise, Starship four voices: this is my three best takes (recorded with headphones on, and then layered over the original in Audacity.) Y'all should do it too so nobody has to hear my singing in the final version.

...and, while I'm on Star Trek multimedia anyway I guess, [personal profile] gblvr posted the Star Trek Reboot Art Meme (which originated with annime1231 on dA) like, umm ... over a month ago? But I just finished doing it. So here it is:

Long fanart is long. And has no text description. Also, warnings for tentacles, hybrid babies, cocktail metaphors, space floozies, old people, Rihannsu, crossdressing, Star Wars quotes, JF injokes, Captain Maddow, Vulcan-touching, anthropomorphization, bad art, and girlsex. )

..enjoy.

(19 comments | Reply)


June 7th, 2009 03:48 am - Frequent links: Blogs, etc.
My blogroll is constantly evolving. Most of the blogs on it are the really popular blogs that everybody reads, and I rarely go out looking for new ones, and there are some on here that I'm vaguely ashamed to admit I read. But my criteria are: a) it updates somewhere in the range of daily to weekly, not too often, not to little; b) it was interesting enough that after I originally found it I kept coming back to see if there was more; c) I am actually interested in more than half the posts.

This also doesn't include the blogs/journals that I have syndicated to one of my flists; these are the ones were I like to go to the actual blog site, and read several entries at a time, and only go to when I feel like it, as opposed to seeing every update when it comes through.

On my actual blogroll these are organized by how much brain they require to read (on many days I only get about halfway up the list before I run out of brain, see) but on here, I think I shall subdivide by topic, at least a little bit, and *then* order by brain.

These have substantially more commentary than the last post had, btw.

Quick, silly, thoughtless )

Clothes, food, and other girly things )

Fandom in its myriad varieties )

Science, politics, and other Serious Business )

There's some pretty gaping holes in that list - particularly on the serious business end - but I've found that when I go looking for blogs, I never find any that grab hold of me; the only way to find them is to stumble on them quite accidentally. Though if you know of a really good blog in the science-math-politics-activism-diversity range, that's regularly updated but not too high-volume, that's engagingly written, and that's more than a link aggregator - I'd be willing to give it a look.

Not that I need more blogs. At all.

(4 comments | Reply)


June 7th, 2009 03:05 am - Frequent links: Speed Dial, TV shows, columns and webcasts:
Sites I visit a Lot, part ONE (under cut.)

Speed dial are the pages I go to as a spinal reflex. )

Streaming TV shows, webcasts, & podcasts )

Current Music:: the colbert report
Current Mood:: [mood icon] ow

(1 comment | Reply)


May 14th, 2009 03:26 pm - USS Bill of Rights
This exists partly because [personal profile] sarken was having a bad day yesterday, partly because I am insane, and partly because I wanted to practice freehand inking in GIMP. None of those are probably good enough excuses:
the Pundit Round Table in Star Trek Original series uniforms, posed around Captain Maddow in a miniskirt in the Captain's chair on the bridge of a starship.

Captain Maddow of the United Star Ship Bill of Rights, with her department heads, left to right: Lieut. Commander Olbermann, Chief of Science; Chief of Operations Lieutenant "Andy" ch'Cuper; Lieutenant Stewart, Communications; and CMO Lieut. Commander Dr. Stehpen (DFA Vulcan Science Academy, and *don't* mention the ears.)

Questions and answers about <i>Bill of Rights</i> )

Also, drawing this has made me realize that part of the reason I love Keith so much is that he exactly matches my mental image of Lieut. Harb Tanzer, Enterprise's chief of Recreation. (Also it makes me want Captain Maddow/Dr. Dehner. Or at least want to draw Ana Marie Cox in Dr. Dehner's uniform.)

(58 comments | Reply)


May 1st, 2009 10:54 pm
I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done on DW today - finish and post porn for open beta, write that post about accessible HTML (since it is blogging against disablism day), work through the support instructions, get a couple recs posts together, ladedadeda. But it has become apparent that I will not be accomplishing any of these things.

However! [personal profile] stellar_dust bought me paid account! So I can abuse paid account now!

I have made iconses! A new version of my old Mathnet one, and, since I *can*, a Mathnet dreamsheep! (Feel free to take & use these. Because Mathnet.) Also, of course, a Commander Valentine dreamsheep, just for me.
Kate Monday & George Frankly of Mathnet: The names are made up, but the problems are real. A dreamsheep with the mathnet logo and slogan: 'The names are made up, but the problems are real.' Commander Valentine as a dreamsheep: red hair, eyepatch, cigarette holder, and all.

Also, I can abuse polls! The proportion of people on my flists who are crossposting has gotten big enough that it's starting to involve a lot of scrolling. I'm not going to defriend anybody, but I would like to set up a default reading filter on LJ. So, please fill out my poll?

ETA: No wonder nobody was voting in my poll! The poll creator still has the option "lock to friendslist" and I didn't stop to think that probably meant "access" rather than "subscribe". Since I haven't been accessing people, ya'll couldn't vote. New poll up shortly! Also, will be pointing out poll generator fail.

(3 comments | Reply)


April 21st, 2009 12:25 am - Some things.
1. I posted a tutorial on how to set up an OpenID account on Journalfen to [community profile] getting_started, so if anyone has JF comments importd here that they'd like to eventually claim, they should mark it. ([community profile] metafandom is still linking to the draft version of the tutorial, but hopefully that will change.)

/me officially washes her hands of S2 forever.

2. /me has sauntered vaugely downward into the #dw irc channel. Curse you, Opera, why did you make that so easy?

If previous experience with IRC stands, I will stay in channel for about a week, and then get behind and never go back. But hEll bot is adorable.

3. [personal profile] damned_colonial posted this meme:
Comment on this post. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so others can play along.
...and I told myself that the next time somebody I read posted it, I would do it. So:
local politics, regional soft drinks, spike jones, the primordial ass, crossovers, fleegix, and oracular pigs )

PS: Is anyone else getting an occasionally-recurring error when they try to preview from the web interface? I keep getting: [Error: Can't call method "imgtag" on unblessed reference at '/home/dw/current/htdocs/preview/entry.bml' line 106. @ dfw-web02]

Unblessed indeed, DW. Unblessed indeed.

Current Mood:: [mood icon] accomplished

(24 comments | Reply)


April 8th, 2009 08:37 pm - I arted!
So I just announced to the rest of the Interrobang Studios crew that I had, for the first time ever, posted stupid fanart to my DeviantArt account, and roommate Kevin misheard and thought I had said Scrooge fanart, so I had to admit that I had *written* Scrooge fanfic, because my 2003 Yuletide fic was Scrooge/Marley slash (and it got highlighted on the lj comm today!), and they made faces at me and said "You know I meant Unca Scrooge, right?", so I told them that as far as I knew, I was one of only two people who had written that pairing, and the other one was Henry Jenkins, Director of Media Studies at MIT, and other roommate Sarah said, "Wait, Professor Jenkins? I think he taught my Science Fiction class there. Why didn't I know he did fan studies?"

Ah, geekdom.

Anyway, yes, I have posted stupid fanart at my almost-empty deviantart account. Remember how I mentioned that there are a few LJ comms for pairing I still hang out on? One of them is [community profile] best_enemies, the multi-era Master/Doctor community. (And we mean multi-era: the community is currently trying to fill in the chart of all 216 possible Master/Doctor pairings.) And ages ago, [livejournal.com profile] wingedkamui posted fanart of Shalka!Doctor luring Catboy!Master into the Tardis with a mouse.

Since Shalka!Doctor already has a Sexbot!Master of his very own, and since Shalka!Master goes only to doomed planets, it would be perfectly canonical for him to pick up Catboy!Master, and Saxon!Master has access to hammerspace by way of the Toclafane, and hey, planets don't get much more doomed than Professor Yana's .... the phrase "Gotta Catch 'em All" may have been used, and Tenchi Muyo was mentioned.

So I have been in possession of a Doctor/Master As Harem Anime comics bunny for the past year or so, and I finally got through the first set of character designs, and there be postable art:

(click for larger versions.)

This is a promo poster for Who Needs a Doctor? the (existing only in my head) American manga based on the (non-existent) Japanese anime that was very loosely based on the (
really real) spin-off Shalka cartoon of the British Doctor Who television series. There are a few (very minor, of course) variations from the original British show, as you may have noticed. (I'm claiming that the crappiness of the art is intentional because I'm parodying bad American manga-style art. ...yes.)

The poster shows the Doctor's "travelling companions" circa the end of season one of the anime: (vaguely left-to-right): Magister-san, Snake, Cheetah, the Master, Harry, Kosch-chan, Yana-Sensei, a Kitling and a Toclafane, Crispy, the Chief, and Vworp the baby TARDIS.

But I also do have a three-season-long plot outline, two 24-page comics scripts, a brand new deviantart account, fortyleven bookmarks from TVTropes, and a bunch more character designs (Time Lady Beautiful President Romanadvoratrelundar! Sexy Time Agent Captain Jack! Dalek Caan, because every anime needs a tentacle monster, and who also accidentally gave me a way to make this CRACK tie in with canon! Rani the Zaftig!)

Will I ever get around to drawing any of the actual comic? ...Rassilon knows!

Current Mood:: [mood icon] pleased

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