Reading Friday!

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:52 am
frayadjacent: Connie Maheswaran on a beach reading excitedly (!reading)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
I've been travelling a lot, which means plenty of time for reading but not much for DW posting.

What I've finished reading since my last post:

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. What I thought would be a fun, tight-knit murder mystery turned out to be a big story covering hundreds of years, major political upheavals, and some thought-provoking ideas about clones. I enjoyed this a lot.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. It was a fun book and made me laugh, but as my first Scalzi novel, I can't say it made me want to read more.

The Thessaly series by Jo Walton (The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, and Necessity). An interesting series, especially as an exploration of utopia. I never thought I'd read a book that would make me excited about the god Apollo. I found that even though I wasn't enormously taken in by the plots or characters, I couldn't put them down, and I think that's just because the prose is so damn readable. I came to particularly love the character Maia, and was bummed that she wasn't in the last novel.

Lavinia, by Ursula K Le Guin. I've had the e-book for ages, and after I finished The Just City, but before I realised there were two more novels after it, I was in the mood for more Bronze Age fiction. Le Guin's prose is as wonderful as ever, and I loved the use of the device that Lavinia -- and everyone else -- was a character in the Aeneid, not a historical figure. I find Le Guin's tendency toward gender essentialism more annoying than I used to.

The Small Change trilogy by Jo Walton (Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown). Detective noir/political thriller series set in an AU where the UK made peace with the Nazis and the US never joined WWII. In the first book, one of the POV characters is happily married to a man with the same first and last name as Mr. Adjacent, and it was very strange! At several points I thought I'd have to stop reading it because this character was under serious threat and I thought he might die. The end of the series was narratively satisfying but politically annoying. Between this series and the Thessaly series I have read two instances in Walton where the oppressed and their allies basically convinced those in power (or rather, a sympathetic faction of those in power) to stop oppressing them. I'm with Fredrick Douglass on that one.

What I'm currently reading

My Real Children by Jo Walton. Yes, I'm on a kick. I've just started this, but I'm hoping it will be more the intimate, character-driven story that Among Others was. As much as I've enjoyed Walton's books that I've read since then, none of them can hold a candle to that one.

Also, I'm slowly re-reading Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand by Ursula K Le Guin. I read it for the first (and only) time more than 15 years ago, so all I really remember is the overall feel of the book.

What I'll read next

I pre-ordered the new Philip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage, and it will be arriving in less than a month. I told myself I'd re-read His Dark Materials first. Also, last year I purchased N.K. Jemisin's Obelisk Gate but decided to wait until the third book was out before reading the whole trilogy (including re-reading The Fifth Season). Now the third book is out but I haven't bought it yet. And finally, I have four books on hold from the library and I plan to drop anything else to read them once they become available. In other words, I don't know.

Free book-shaped space

I finally got my account set up to get e-books from the library and my book buying is plummeting (excepting the Le Guin haul, described below) while my reading rate soars. I'm so pleased.

I recently learned that Worldcon 77 (in 2019) will be in Dublin! I really really want to go -- Dublin is cheaper to get to than London and almost as easy -- but it's within a week of my 10-year wedding anniversary, when we are also planning a big trip. I know this is nearly two years away, but August always ends up filled with family travel, so I feel like I do have to plan this far in advance in order for it to happen.

I went to Portland, Oregon in August, for the first time since probably 2003. I went to Powell's and re-purchased many of the Le Guin books I'd gotten rid of in a misguided purge a few years ago. All the books I bought were used -- I prefer to buy used books anyway, but these were necessarily so since I bought out of print books. Anyway, my Le Guin library is slowly being restored. Also, I almost bought a few missing Earthsea novels, but then a guy at the checkout counter told me that next year they'll be releasing a new illustrated version of the series, so I decided to hold out for that. Speaking of, the fancy illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is coming out soon. I seem to be collecting them all, but I'm really curious to see how they'll do the later books, as even The Philosopher's Stone is huge and unweildy.


Interesting Links for 22-09-2017

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

The Blood is the Life for 22-09-2017

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Cheap 52mm filters

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:26 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Someone on eBay UK is selling sets of 52mm UV filter, polarizer, and lens cap - for 99p! I always need 52mm skylights/UVs and caps for the lenses I sell so I just bought a few which arrived today, and they appear to be exactly as described. Probably not up to the highest quality standards, but I'll be honest, I can't tell the difference at all, and they'll certainly keep the dust out. Annoyingly they don't have any other size at anything like this price.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253149121163

Probably not worth it outside the UK

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:35 am
jekesta: Shawn and Gus screaming (psych)
[personal profile] jekesta
I've made the mistake of leaving a message for three different plumbers so now I am waiting politely for none of them to never call me back instead of just ringing them every five minutes like I ought to.

I haven't stopped reading here, I've stopped commenting because I am struggling with sleep and thinking and breathing. And I've stopped posting because I've caught myself in a trap of it. Also my mum is staying with me for two weeks which is fine on many levels but also I think I'm going to die and I have run out of any meals I know how to think about.

(She is staying with me because her partner is having a serious operation and I am nearer to the hospital than her house. It's all awkward because I have never liked or got on with her partner anyway, and for the last few months before he got ill they have been talking seriously about separating. But then he got ill and now she is stuck caring for him, and he's just a tosser, and I am sorry he is ill, but also I hate him. And she is stuck in a situation of 'how well does he have to get before I am allowed to leave him?' which is a really awkward thing and I'm worried it makes her sound terrible and she's not being terrible about it, she's just doing so much for him I don't know how she can bear it. He's terrible and awful in ways that I can never properly explain but which you would understand FIVE SECONDS after meeting him. He's just repellent.)

I can't keep anything straight in my head and I have to keep not eating enough thyroxine until I go for a blood test which they will say proves that I am better when I am clearly not better and I can never have a blood test anyway, because I booked it for yesterday and then entirely forgot about it because my brain doesn't work any more and I'm embarrassed to call up and make another appointment and also quite pleased I missed it because I hate blood tests and it's not with a nurse I know and I was dreading it.

I physically can't believe how conservative blue bloods is, Read more... )

I feel really sick.

I rang my usual plumber again instead of waiting, and he said 'yes I'll get someone out to you today' and then hung up and I don't trust him a bit for that to be true but I really want it to be true and I suppose it's marginally better than all the plumbers who say nothing.

Daily Happiness

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:48 am
torachan: aradia from homestuck (aradia)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Had a pretty relaxing day off. I wish I'd spent less of it practically falling asleep at my desk, but oh well.

2. We had chipotle tuna sandwiches for dinner tonight. (Mine also had avocado, sprouts, and cucumber on it, for extra tastiness.)

3. It's so chilly tonight I actually have on a sweater. (Though sadly we are in for some hot weather in a few days.)

4. I've never seen all three kitties on the living room shelves together before, so I'm really glad I was able to get a pic!

goodbye homeland; hello homeland

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:32 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, in about 20 minutes I'm going to be leaving my parents' place, so that we can all go to the airport and travel to the country where my family has lived for as many generations as we know about (at least 4) and left when I was 7.

I've never been to the capital. I don't speak the language that people mostly speak there. (Everyone else in my family does speak it, but at home we always spoke Russian, the de facto lingua franca of the USSR, and that's all I managed to pick up by 7.) Kiev is new to me, and not new because I grew up on stories about it. (My aunt grew up there.) Odessa is familiar, full of people who will be happy to see me, but foreign too, like just another random European city, with buildings and customs that don't conform to the West Asian norms I find familiar and standard.

Anyway, if I started describing my feelings in earnest we'd never be done with parentheses.

I expect this trip will be a mindfuck. I expect being stuck with my parents for two weeks straight will be... a challenge. I hope, intensely, that the next two weeks will be wonderful and healing as well, as going home usually is.

Take care, friends.

Finished TAZ: Balance

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:05 am
owlmoose: (moose sign)
[personal profile] owlmoose
So I kind of blew through the rest of TAZ, including all the freely available live shows except the one that posted today (but not the two Flophouse episodes). I am probably not sucked in enough to shell out the five bucks a month to get at the bonus content -- paying for one D&D show seems to be my limit -- but who knows. From Crystal Kingdom right through the end, the story and characters grabbed me in their teeth and refused to let me go, and I found it one of my more satisfying listening experiences in awhile.

I have a lot to say, but most all of it is spoilers. I am VERY glad that I was not at all spoiled for the main story arc, because watching it all unfold for the players as well as myself was a huge aspect of my enjoyment. So putting a spoiler cut here.

Spoilers through the finale. )

It'll be interesting to see how things change when they start playing their new games next month. I expect that I'll enjoy whatever the Critical Role gang gets up to next, in large part because I've already seen them do other things with their various one-shots, so I feel confident that my attachment is as much to the players (and especially the DM) as to the specific team of Vox Machina. I haven't gotten the opportunity to know the McElroys quite as well yet, so I'm not sure whether the changes will take with me, especially if someone else is GMing. But I'll certainly stick with it, at least for now. I look forward to discovering what direction the boys go.

spring is in

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:44 am
tielan: (don't make me shoot you)
[personal profile] tielan
I have my hockey presentation night tonight, but due to a blood test, I can't eat anything and shouldn't drink anything but water after 10pm. Which is not entirely a bad thing because I don't actually feel like socialising tonight. Set INTROVERSION to ON.

I want to go home tonight and write; and then tomorrow I want to do ALL THE PLANTING AND GARDENING.

iPods

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:53 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Haven't been around long enough for an adult to reference the technology as something around when they were kids. That's just crazy talk -- 16 years ago, you say?
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome back Cap)
[personal profile] sineala
In All This Wide World (10252 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Pining, Action/Adventure, Dinosaurs, Happy Ending, Avengers Vol. 3 (1998)
Summary: Tony's known Steve for ten years. With the formation of a brand-new team, with their bright future ahead of them, Tony's decided that it's finally time to ask Steve out. Now. Today. But his plans are interrupted when they have to go to the Savage Land -- where, of course, they are marooned together. Just the two of them, miles of jungle, profusely-bleeding injuries, and packs of vicious carnivorous dinosaurs. Not only are they not going to get to go on that date, they may not make it home alive at all.

This is my entry for the Superhusbands Aluminum Anniversary Anthology free digital zine, released today, of interest if you enjoy Steve/Tony. I collaborated with [personal profile] phoenixmetaphor, whose art can be found here.

The zine requirements were (a) nothing explicit and (b) no AUs and it took us FOREVER to come up with something that would be fun for me to write and her to draw until we hit upon DINOSAURS. Rawr. So here's some Savage Land h/c.

(Also, here is AIM Raptor, who did not make it into the story itself but is present in all of our hearts.)

Weekly Reading

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:14 pm
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan
What are you currently reading?
I'm about a third of the way through on Satan: A Biography and enjoying it so far.

I've been finding it hard to make progress on Meddling Kids, though, as despite being really excited by the premise, the book itself is kind of disappointing so far. The writing itself is not great, and the story is not making up for it. I'm hoping it'll get better as it goes along, though.

I also started Beezus and Ramona and am about a third of the way through that, too. I downloaded all the Ramona ebooks a couple years ago to do a reread and then never did, but then iTunes was updated the other day to remove ebooks and apps from the interface, and when I finally figured out how to add ebooks to my phone the new way, I tested it with this book, and then since I wasn't feeling Meddling Kids, just started reading it.

What did you recently finish reading?
Volumes two through five of Giant Days, as well as a bunch of single issues after that (I still have a handful of issues to read before being completely caught up, and then I will be sad because I love this series so much).

What do you think you'll read next?
The rest of Giant Days, for sure, and also volume 10 of You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead came out the other day and I'd already preordered it so it's on my ipad awaiting me.

The Flash season 3

Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:52 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Abra Kadabra shows up yet somehow it's still all about Savitar.
I think I'd be bored of that even if I didn't know the ending.
Read more... )


I'm not liking several layers of what they're doing.
At the moment I'm looking forwards to the end of the season.

Game Review: Overlord

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:07 am
green_knight: (Skyrim)
[personal profile] green_knight
[expanded from the review I posted on Steam]

Review and Discussion )


Bonus review-let: Forced.

Forced, Gamification of Games, Player vs. Designer )

So, yeah. I am learning something about gaming, game design, or myself from every game I play, and I am glad I seem to have broken through the mountain of shame (OMG, so much stuff I've never played, best never look at them) and guilt (OMG, so much wasted money). I no longer feel compelled to 'give every game a fair chance' just because I once spent money on it. (Frequently, in bundle deals, I did not even set out to buy all of the games.)

Overall, I spend less than £5/month on games and, overall, I enjoy gaming. I'm not going to get the same amount of fun out of every game, but if I can average a couple of hours of fun for every £5 I pay, that's actually not bad value for money.

Tired now

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:16 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Attempt to go to board games night at Waterstones unsuccessful. No board games, no dude that runs board games night, no noticeable board game night by ten past when it started, an the lady at the desk thought the guy was at the other shop today so it wouldn't happen. If it happened after quarter past starting I'll be vaguely annoyed, but, couldn't see a group identifiably hanging around waiting for games either. The knitting was there again though. Maybe I should try social knitting.

The mobile phones place in the mall made money go in my phone again. I know many people can make this happen without going to a phone shop but I heard the phone tell the guy to put in a sixteen digit number and honestly I'm fine leaving it to them twice a year. Mall wasn't otherwise very interesting.

Went to The Range to try and buy a tablecloth but there were only a couple sorts, on sale, either the color I wanted or the pattern I wanted but not both at once, or a lot of runners which are nice but not the thing. Christmas was only half unpacked, and Halloween didn't take half the space of christmas. It is very very shiny though. I didn't buy things because then they just stay in the box but if I'm still thinking of specific things next week I could pop in again.

Sainsburys had moneys off clothing but none clothes I wanted. One very soft sleep shirt I might get later but don't really need. Slippers either my size or my color. And a watch with a too big strap. But none things I wanted from the sale.

But they did have a season set of Arrow, so now I'll have all the things and can in theory get caught up :-)

Also the foods were there and the drinks and the cleaning supplies
and I remembered to check my shopping list before we left so I could go back for the laundry whatsits.

Basically a success.

Well I did my half, anyways.

Now I'm very tired and looking forwards to staying home for a week.
musesfool: mal & zoe, out of gas (can't take the sky)
[personal profile] musesfool
Monday night, [personal profile] innie_darling and I met up to see the new Jake Gyllenhaal/Tatiana Maslany movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, Stronger. The acting was good, I thought. It was not the kind of movie I would have sought out on my own, but I was glad to have seen it.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:

- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- OTP
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)

Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.

*as opposed to pairings where I don't.

And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.

***

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thedivinegoat

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