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February 3rd, 2011 01:44 am - Victorian crossdressing
I would say the unifying themes of this post, to the extent it has any, are Victoriana, costuming, and crossdressing. Also, Things I Have Scanned. So let's get on it, shall we?

First, people wanted to see the pictures of the 1890s silk dress I was fixing last week, so here they are. )

And while I was scanning those I went ahead and scanned a few other things. )

Meanwhile, I have acquired another supply from my secret-source-of-free-comics-in-return-for-reviews! And they seemed to fit the theme, so, hey, since I have read them all already,a here are scans and reviews:

ADELE BLANC-SEC by Jacques Tardi. )

The CBLDF 2010 Liberty Annual )

Scarlett Takes Manhattan )

And, okay, the other comics that didn't fit the theme. )

(20 comments | Reply)


November 24th, 2010 04:45 pm - Five things make a post?
1. I am going through today and subscribing back to a bunch of people who've been subscribed to me for a while; I've been letting my reading list sit, partly because I'm lazy, partly because my reading list is already very close to Dunbar's number*, and partly because quite a few of the people who subscribed to me recently are folks who I've gotten used to thinking of as way out of my league, too smart and too popular for me. But I have got to the point again where I am spending time reloading my list saying "why are there no new posts?" (I realize the answer is 'holiday weekend already' but I am ignoring that.) So. Um. Hi?

*I have issues with Dunbar's number as a hard limit, but for a single network, it does seem to make sense. And to be about where I settle naturally when it comes to active posters on a reading list.

2. Three fics which I recently found which I must share! And one of them isn't even my fault in any way!
  • Sherlock Holmes, Petticoat Detective by [personal profile] verity, which I linked in my yuletide letter, but deserves to be seen above a cut. Remember how back when BBC Sherlock was first gaining steam, I posted about how my issue with a modern!Holmes AU is that without Victorian!Holmes, modern culture would be very, very different?

    Apparently while I was off ignoring the fandom for my own sanity, some of them decided that the answer to that problem was that, instead of Holmes being the trope maker and archetype of the genius detective, in that universe, Madelyn Mack was. THIS IS BRILLIANT AND MAKES MY HEART SING.

    And [personal profile] verity has actually writ fic about it! Linked above is just a short ficlet, but what she manages to cram into the ficlet about what this means for Holmes - that the archetype he's built his self-image onto is one that pop culture thinks is a girl's - is amazing and I am in love with it. And [personal profile] verity tells me that more is coming, yay!

  • The Lambda Quadrant by [profile] peapods24. I repeat my comment to the author: OMG Bill of Rights fic! With Rachel/Ana! Luring Keith into a gay bar of shiny! !!!! This is sheer beauty! ...and I love particularly (well, after Keith getting pinched by the bouncer. And Anderson's drooping anntenae.) the commentary you've worked in here on what being gay means on this Earth. I think it's a bit fluffier than I would have written it, but it's definitely the way things *should* be on TOS!Eearth. Proving that Earth understands IDIC better than Surak does, one glittery gay bar at a time. :D

  • The World That You Need by [personal profile] dira. This is a Vorkosigan-verse series, up to about 50,000 words total, set during the first half of Vor Game, about how Cordelia Vorkosigan talked her husband into seducing his (male) secretary, because his happiness delights her. It is the best exploration of what it means to be homosexual on Barrayar that has ever been written; it is one of the best stories about poly relationships that I have seen in fandom, period; it is just a really good story about Cordelia and Aral and their marriage, and about Jole, the minor canon character that Dira has given amazing depths to; and it is just full of joy and love, even as it delves into some really dark and painful things on the way to happy-ever-after. This fic is now canon to me, but I really recommend it even to people who aren't Bujold fans, if you like reading fic that addresses LGBT themes deeply - it's just that good, and I want it to go on forever. I have read it about six times since it was posted.

3. The other day I went to The Star Toys Museum and donated five boxes of Star Wars crap to them, in exchange for a tour )

4. I finally finished listening to the audiobook of A Wizard Of Mars, after being unable to acquire a copy of the written book without using money. I was... kind of disappointed in it? Maybe it's partly because it was on audiobook, which meant that when I came to the bits I disliked, I had to just slog through, instead of skimming or skipping, so they seemed even longer. But the reason it took so long was that there was a long section in the middle where Nita and Kit aren't telling each other, or their supervisors, things that they really should, by their established character from previous books, be telling them. It is one of those annoying "if they talked to each other there would be no narrative tension, so they are just going to keep secrets for no reason other than angst" things. DD seemed to expect people to buy it just because Nita and Kit and proper teenagers now, and hormones do strange things? Maybe it's just that I was never a proper teenager, maybe it was hitting my embarrassment squick a bit, but I didn't buy it at all, even though spoiler cut )

5. Last night, seeking to prove that there really *wasn't* anything good on any of her hundreds of FIOS channels (she was wrong from the outset, 'cause there was a Top Gear rerun on BBCA, but still), Mom put on an episode of the old live-action Hulk TV series. It was - bizarrely - not terrible. It was actually really fun, in that seventies-TV way. And I am thinking of submitting Dr. David Banner to the crushes of shame on [journalfen.net profile] hot_daily, because wow, if there was ever a character designed to appeal to little fangirl hearts! And I love love love the oldschool special effects, too. Where is the fic for this?

(19 comments | Reply)


June 29th, 2010 03:44 pm - Sort of a con-txt report
First: Asexuality prompt fest!

I will be hanging around there as soon as I get my head together enough. Losing most of a week to brain-destroying heat has left me feeling completely off-kilter in terms of writing and otherwise accomplishing stuff (I'm about twenty pages behind on the kinkmemes I'm already keeping up with...) On the other hnad, I've been reading real books! (Easier to handle in hammock than laptops are, see.) Apropos of that:

Dear Mr. Leonard R. N. Ashley, who wrote "The Complete Book Of Werewolves" that I picked up from the con.txt swap table:

You invited people to talk about your book on the Internet, so I think I'll take you up on it.

While I generally agree with you about the terrible state of the American educational system today, I have some objections to your statement that American schoolchildren ought to "tackle Henry James' The Turn of the Screw instead of reading Alice Walker's The Color Purple and other politically correct assignments."

Speaking as a young(ish) American who tackled both of those books in school (though neither as an assignment), Turn of the Screw is not actually a particularly good novel. It is, in fact, a fairly standard Gothic novel that has had all of the actually interesting elements of Gothic novels taken out, so that it can pass as proper men's literature. If you would like to read some good, serious gothic novels that are stylistically excellent, fun to read, and have serious things to say about both the genre and the state of humanity, I recommend Austen's Northanger Abbey or Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Oh, wait, those were both written by women, so I suppose that would be too "politically correct".

As for The Color Purple, I will grant you that, particularly in terms of pacing and structure, it has a certain lack of polish. On the other hand, it's an absorbing book that takes risks, tries things that had almost never been done before, says things that nobody else was trying to say, speaks to people nobody else was speaking to, and does it all very, very well, if not perfectly. I am sorry if there was not enough girl-on-girl, racism and gore in it for your tastes (per your previous recommendation of Moon Dance*, with its lesbian cowgirls and savage Sioux tribesmen.)

Also I am not entirely sure why you felt the need to make that comparison in the middle of what was ostensibly a survey of werewolf literature, but I am sure you had your reasons.

Kisses,
Melannen

P.S.: I am actually working on a lesbian werewolf novel myself (scattershot and very slowly, but I am), since con.txt - two years ago? Four years ago? I forget - when one of the mods in a panel about original writing said that she was still looking for the first Great American Werewolf Novel, as she'd never seen one. I suspect it won't have enough girl-on-girl or racism for you, either.

I am used to books about the paranormal and anomalistics, especially ones about "savage monsters", having at minimum a fairly high level of passive background racism (along with fairly high levels of ablism and often misogyny and classism), but this one was toddling along being reasonably okay, if extremely and smugly idiosyncratic, when suddenly, *pow*, right in the face. Repeatedly. (The 'politically correct literature' rant was only the start :/ )

I would like to state for the record that the books I left on the con.txt swap table were books I actually liked that I happened to have extra copies of, or not enough storage space for, or to have left the fandoms of. Unlike apparently nearly everybody else who left books, who appeared to be clearing their libraries of authors who had proven to be homophobic/racist/misogynistic/pedophilic and/or copyright hypocrites. (All that Card and Bradley and Gabaldon and Heinlein and Bear and etc, it was like a nostalgia trip through the last two years' worth of fail.)


...Oh, and while I am at it,

Dear Mr. R. D. Schneck, author of 'The President's Vampire', )
*I have not actually read Moon Dance by Somtow, or any of his other work; it's possible it's a very good book, but Ashley's description somehow did not give me confidence.

(8 comments | Reply)


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

(23 comments | Reply)



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