melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2016-09-28 01:29 pm
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I finished reading Rivers of London this morning! (Just the five novels, I'm saving the ancillary stories so there's something to look forward to.) My summary was fairly accurate! I'm amused that at the end of Foxglove Summer, even Peter was surprised that it was Bev and not Nightingale come to play Janet of Carterhaugh, although given what they did in the river it makes sense.

(there is so Doctor Who fandom in that river's future.)

I'm mostly surprised that... there wasn't too much that I missed? Okay, I missed most of the main plot in Foxglove Summer, but I think a lot of the fic I was reading pre-dated it, so I was expecting that. It also had probably the strongest plot of the set - the first four really didn't have plot as their strongest point. Which is not, I will note, necessarily a criticism - I like books that don't narrow-focus on plot, as long as the stuff they're doing in the meantime is fun, and it is - I so, so appreciate that Rivers of London has all of the really, really strong sense of place that is completely missing from, say, the Dresden Files. They feel like - like, they've got the voice and trappings of a police procedural, and the setting and characters of an urban fantasy, but the structure and mood of a cozy, and that was apparently what I needed.

And the criticism of police culture that was coming through strongly in the fic is there in canon; not as a central point, but Peter, while being 100% a copper, is never uncritical of what the police are doing. So I could read it without the sour taste in my mouth that pretty much all other police-focused fiction has been giving me lately. (Just Peter Grant and Sam Vimes are exempt, basically.)

(I dare somebody to write Rivers of Ankh-Morpork.)

Unfortunately all the fanfic-y feelings I got involve characters that very clearly have major canon revelations coming up, and I have been reminded by Check Please! how very, very bad I am at being invested that way in characters in an open canon, so probably I will not be writing anything.

(Well, maybe bits of Rivers of Ankh-Morpork.)

...anyway beyond that I've been deep in avoidance mode lately. I am watching the third season of the Great British Bake-Off because sometime you just need Sue Perkins making terrible puns in a tent, and started hopefully a full watch-through of Leverage in order because sometimes you just need to watch asshole billionaires being made to weep bitter tears, and nearly caught up on the Rex Factor podcast because there is nothing like learning about 10th century Scotsmen murdering each other to help one stop catastrophizing about modern politics (#RememberAed). Also found, and watched, "Under the Emerald Sea", a Nature special that aired when I was five that is the first TV show I ever remember bugging my parents to let me stay up late to watch.

So if anyone wants to talk to me about any of those I'm up for it.

Also I went to the beach on what I accurately predicted to be the last day of the year that sea-bathing would be doable, played some Pokemon Go (level 22! Still haven't found any good way to hatch eggs without using a data plan!), and started what is hopefully going to be a full reshelve and clear out of my books, because it was just becoming unsustainable. Step 1: all 1600+ nonfiction books in dewey decimal order. ish.
jjhunter: Watercolor sketch of self-satisfied corvid winking with flaming phoenix feather in its beak (corvid with phoenix feather)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2016-10-20 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
It depends on how you define magic, of course. Alternative relations with supposedly immutable laws of physics could describe both Rivers of London-style magic and Presger translator (and presumably Presger) states of being. Environvental manipulation could involve manipulating the elements or manipulating/influencing the AI in control of the local contained environment. I could see Captain Nightengale as having especial influence with her Station AI (perhaps Nightengale has verging-on-ancillary ancillary implants that permit unusually deep access, Station permitting, to Station's data stream and a deeply personal relationship (the kind that takes at least ten years to establish to 'staff' level-intimacy) with Station. Maybe Nightengale apprenticed herself directly to Station as Station's next best thing to having her own ancillaries.
jjhunter: A sheep with shaded glasses and a straw hat lies on its side; overhead floats the pun 'on the lamb' (as in baby sheep). (on the lamb)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2016-10-20 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
These are excellent thoughts, and I will think on them! In the meantime, have some naming ideas for this budding fusion thing:

Station of London
Datastreams of Station
Flows of London Station
Tributaries of Station Imperial
Edited 2016-10-20 21:22 (UTC)
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2016-10-20 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

'Rivers of Justice', etc. would be amazing: yessssssssssss.
jjhunter: kitten peers playfully at beleaguered peacock from on top of its head (kitten teases peacock)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2016-10-20 11:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Eh, I think we could lean on tags / metadata (not to mention summary!) to get 'surprisingly apt weird crossover' across.
jjhunter: profile of human J.J. with goggles and a band of gears running down her face; inked in reds and browns (steampunk J.J.)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2016-10-20 10:10 pm (UTC)(link)
The scenario that jumps out to me is Peter getting shanghied from her initial assignment to Station security by Captain Nightengale to be a baby lieutenant instead. Maybe everyone thought (including Nightengale) that her Ship AI was slowly going mad after a terrible battle where all the rest of the crew died or retired shortly after, and Ship refused new crew and stopped talking in words to anyone. Ship's Sword body now orbits Station, mostly quiescent, and has done so for so long that most everyone refers to it as the Folly after Nightengale's House, since Captain Nightengale is all that stands in the way of Ship's body being junked and the AI permanently "retired". Most of the time Captain Nightengale lives apart in the Folly along with her servant, Molly, secretly Ship's last surviving ancillary, formerly the body of an early undercover Presger Translator.

(Anaander Mianaai knows that this Ship has a former Presger Translator as an ancillary, maybe even arranged it as an experiment, and is convinced it went wrong and that the hookup was not simply one way. She sent Ship and Ship's crew out against a non-Radchaii enemy, and when Ship limped back to Station decided to just see if time would complete what war left undone. In the meantime, Capatain Nightengale is occasionally useful as an isolated military officer who can deal with situations with aliens, ancillaries, and non-Radchaii humans on Station.)
Edited 2016-10-20 22:30 (UTC)
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2016-10-20 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooo, yes! I would subscribe to a 'Justice of Atë' newsletter.

The way Molly shows care and irritation maps eerily well onto what we know of Ships using ancillaries to tend to their favorites (and take small acts of purposeful neglect revenge as needed). A Rivers of London AU where Molly became the genius loci of the Folly would not surprise me at all.
Edited 2016-10-20 23:32 (UTC)