Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist...

  • Aug. 16th, 2017 at 10:04 PM
Full letter with prompts to come ASAP. The letter below is incomplete.

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,

Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.

(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)

Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, and X/1999 below cut). Read more... )

Tags:

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 35

  • Aug. 16th, 2017 at 4:11 PM
35 -- have you ever dropped an anime, if so why?

All the time-- let's see... timeslot changed, financial reasons (can't commit to $30/3 episodes for a 75+ episode show), moved to somewhere without television/cable, had to work instead of going to anime club, dropped anime club, fell out of contact with friend who was loaning out series, library doesn't have full run and doesn't order in optical media, series was never fully released in NA/English, subbers dropped series and no one picked it up, um... should I go on?

And that's ignoring shows that weren't my cuppa - didn't like the plot, characters, direction show was headed, art style, etc.

That's like asking 'have you ever not finished a book? why?' when sometimes... you just don't.

I'm not sure what the last anime I actually dropped was. There are a lot of things I want to go back and finish, but it'll take awhile. My slow internet makes streaming iffy sometimes so I'm a lot better off with physical media, but that often requires more cash. And some things aren't legally available on physical media yet, so~ *handwaves*

The last manga I dropped (from my library-borrowing spree) was JoJo's. It was interesting but I just couldn't get invested in the story.

UPDATE: Nazis Fuck Off Rally

  • Aug. 16th, 2017 at 10:17 AM
Looks like the Nazi scum saw how many people planned to show up to stand up to them in LA, and ran like the cowards they are. Apparently the Venice Nazi rally has been cancelled (but Nazi rallies are still planned in other cities). But it looks like OUR rally is still on, whether the Nazis show up or not.

I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.
Over the course of the day [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I managed to get our wires throughly crossed twice regarding the same thing. It stressed me out horribly, and then I felt bad about that, because he was only involved at all because he was giving me and a friend a hand with something. ;_; But AAAAAHHHH, so stressful.

But that notwithstanding, we got some erranding done and had dinner and saw Atomic Blonde with lawyer!friend, who we hadn't seen in...a month or two? (I can't even with time.) So the day wasn't a wash, just frazzling. ("Just". -_-)

(I didn't know until the opening credits that Atomic Blonde is adapted from Antony Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, which I'm wholly unfamiliar with, so I have no idea how faithful to it the movie is.)

Three Amazon-related things, weirdly (and very tangentially, in the third case):

--Question: if you have a trial Amazon Prime account and preorder something that won't come out until the trial ends, and you don't opt to keep Prime, do you then pay for shipping when the item is released and ships to you? Or is it still the free/quick Prime shipping because of when you ordered it?


--I don't know if I'm more confused by Amazon's insistence on sending a separate email for every order represented in a package when they bundle items from multiple orders together, or by the fact that the emails don't all come at once. Did I really need four email notifications about one package? And why did it take over ten minutes for them all to arrive, start to finish? (Don't try to answer the "why they don't all come at once" part; I'm sure there's a technical reason, but that doesn't/won't change my feeling that it's silly for them to not arrive all at once.)


--And finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands (the polished/expanded novel version of The Turn of the Story, which she serialized online and which I love fiercely) is out today! It's a BOOK! A book I'll be able to hold in my hands! With mermaids on the cover! It's been fleshed out/revised and edited, and we'll get the ending from Elliot's perspective! (The Turn of the Story is from Elliot's POV, but its original ending was actually written before TotS and is a story in the Monstrous Affections anthology, and is from Luke's POV.)

...and for whatever reason, at least on Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, the hard copy of the book is still slated to release on August 25. >.< I have a preorder of it via Kas' Prime account, as does Ginny. But the ebook version is already available for both Kindle and Kobo, and the book is officially out today in general...so I think I'm going to cave and buy an ebook copy too, so I can read it.

Here's Sarah's release-day post! The book has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly, and Sarah says "Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home."

And here is Small Beer Press' post about the book's release, which opens with "Five years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words".

So you see, I've both already read and not read this book. I already adore it; I also, unsurprisingly, have a corner of my heart saying "but...but this means the story I already love is changed...?" and worrying a bit. But mostly I'm thrilled about it finally being a BOOK I can HOLD. And did I mention the mermaids? (I did.) Elliot, for all his brattiness and lack of enchantment with the magical place in which he goes to school, is appropriately entranced by and appreciative of mermaids.

Serene! Luke! ELLIOT! My heart...!

what i'm watching in August

  • Aug. 15th, 2017 at 9:10 PM
here )

I've barely had tie to more than speed skim any social media the last few weeks. Too tired from work to give it or reading the time and energy I used to. Hopefully that changes soon.
The "alt-right," aka LITERAL NAZIS like the ones who murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, is planning a protest in Los Angeles this Saturday. Here's what I found when I went looking for a counter-protest. I will be there.

Obviously, this could be dangerous. But I am not letting LITERAL NAZIS march in my city unopposed. Besides, it could be a great opportunity:



Please let me know if you're going, so we can rideshare or try to meet up or something.

Defend Diversity: Fight to Protect Diversity Policies in the Workplace!!

Public · Hosted by Defend Movement and Build the Peoples' Democratic Workers' Party

Saturday at 12 PM - 3:30 PM

340 Main St, Venice, California 90291

I promised that I’d be back with the bullet points and yelling, and look! Fate/Apocrypha is back! Oh my beautiful darling show, it’s been too long! *dreamy sigh*

So let’s get this rolling by yelling about Fate Apocrypha Episode Six! )

And this episode of Princess Principal was really fucking bleak in an entirely obvious way, but it was still bleak, as a fair warning. Caution warning for physically abusive parents and alchoholism! Let's go and yell about episode six. )

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 34

  • Aug. 15th, 2017 at 5:47 PM
34 -- have you ever watched an anime only because you liked a specific character?

As in, only hung on because I really wanted to know what happened to one of the cast? Or started watching something because of one character (like I'd seen art or something and was curious)?

Sure. Isn't that sort of how it works sometimes? If it's not a stellar premise but a character has an interesting design or something, I'll check it out. And then there's usually some reason to keep going... I can think of more games that I've finished for a character or two compared to anime... But I definitely know where there were times that the plot was a mess or fell off and I kept going because of an attachment or curiousity about the cast. I think that's pretty natural.

I'm quite fond of the whole things, now, but... the first time through Tekkaman Blade II was pretty painful until all of a sudden Dead End showed up and wait, what-? and I would have watched another fifty episodes to see how that was going to play out.
So, funny story. Back in 2012, Lex and I went to Manchester Comicon because it was there and we were there. And while we're there, I spot a guy with Queen & Country books on his table. I love Queen & Country, so I forget not to make eye contact with people trying to sell you things, and end up buying a different spy thriller with a female lead off him. And just the other week, I spotted a book by him set in the same universe at work, so I grab it!

Fastforward to tonight. Lex and I are in the pictures, the opening credits are rolling. "Oh hey, Executive Producer Antony Johnston! I've read his books!"

Credits keep rolling. "Based on the Oni Press graphic novel The Coldest City? WAIT, NO, I'VE READ THAT ONE, I DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS BASED OFF A GRAPHIC NOVEL!"

... And that is how one of my most anticipated films of the year managed to spoil the twist for me with its opening credits.

Okay, I yield

  • Aug. 15th, 2017 at 9:48 AM
I have fallen under the Indie Slush Pile, and I can't get up.

Rec me!

What I am looking for:

1) Not tradpub (Edit: This one and #4 are the only non-negotiable ones, see my reasons in comments; #2 can extend to SF or any similar genre, but I don't read many mysteries or much contemporary)
2) Fantasy - sword and sorcery or some other action sub-genre preferred over politics
3) Prefer a female main character
4) Competent writing, for the love of all the gods

I am honestly starting to think it's not possible to have a well-developed independently published story. Please show me I'm wrong.

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 33

  • Aug. 14th, 2017 at 8:28 PM
33 -- would you ever watch an anime with over 100 episodes?

I think [personal profile] taichara already gave my answer-- wtf, meme writer and I have and I'll do it again, though sometimes there's a question of time, not inclination.

I wonder if the person who wrote these questions knows there's been an anime series airing weekly since 1969... Now that's a lot of episodes.

And then of course

  • Aug. 14th, 2017 at 6:33 PM
There are the books where chapter 1 feels like the DM is setting up the campaign world for you. *sigh*

Is the current trend in YA really the "I am incompetent at everything and also clueless about my surroundings" character? Or is this just people trying to ape Harry Potter without going the necessary step of putting their MC in a world they genuinely have no way of knowing anything about?

I am a huge proponent of indie publishing

  • Aug. 14th, 2017 at 3:59 PM
And therefore, I am always annoyed when I pick up an indie book that looks good, has an interesting premise, and then turns out to be shallow, half-developed, and powered entirely by the idiot ball.

This applies to YA just as much as books allegedly aimed at adults. Thus was I really fucking disappointed in A Quest of Heroes (Amazon link), which I am pretty sure I picked up because it was a) free and b) the title seems like a perfectly good phrase for a group of adventurers, amirite? A quest of heroes, a murder of crows, a pack of wolves...

Sadly, the book was not nearly so clever as that, and the worldbuilding was tissue thin. And I don't want to say the main character is dumb as a box of hammers, but his awareness of the world around him extends for about six inches. This might be accurate for a fourteen year old, but it makes for a damn boring MC.

Most importantly, the ways the book is bad are very much self-absorbed Mary Sue-fic bad. Not because the MC is practically perfect in every way, but because the world shapes itself around him. You can tell the villains because they Instahate Our Hero Thor (don't name your hero Thor, people, unless your hero is Thor). The designated Good People equally Instalove him. He is deeply confused why he is hated! And why he is liked! In fact, Thor spends a great deal of the book clueless, conveniently has magic powers as the plot demands (but the Mysterious Magic Man won't explain jack shit, he just shows up to make Mysterious Pronouncements), receives the gift of a magic falcon maybe-familiar from the King roughly five minutes after showing up at the capitol, finds a probably-magic white leopard on a hunt, etc etc.
In which I complain at length. )
In short, Thor doesn't earn things so much as he bumbles his way into being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and then managing to blow it all through sheer lack of sense. The people who oppose him oppose him for no good reason. The Evil Gay Trope offends me less than the sheer lack of sense or intelligence demonstrated by LITERALLY EVERYONE. Declaring your book YA - and I question that, given the whole "getting Thor drunk and buying him a whore" part - doesn't absolve you from basic logic and sensible character development.

The book ended on a cliffhanger, but frankly, I choose to believe the end of book 1 is the end of Thor's story. I'm certainly not going to pay money for the rest.
Fannish/Geeky Things

This link about Carrie Fisher and The Last Jedi was making the rounds on Twitter largely because of the story Oscar Isaac tells about her at the end of the article.

The Hugo nomination stats are out (along with other statistics), so naturally I checked the Best Series category, where I found Newsflesh in the list of top nominees, appearing on 85 ballots. (The category header indicates that there were 1393 votes for 291 nominees.) The Toby books, which did make it onto the final ballot, were on 129 nominating ballots.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] sovay, look at Philip Odango's marvelous cosplay of Maui from Moana.

"Dean Winchester and Commander Shepard Walk Into A Bar: Why Fanon Matters". [Alasdair Stuart at Uncanny Magazine]


Social Justice

"Women Are Dying Because Doctors Treat Us Like Men: For years, physicians have referred to women's healthcare as 'bikini medicine' and assumed they can diagnose and treat both genders the same way. But it's costing women their lives". [Marie Claire]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] wendelah1, "41 Things You Should Know About Abortions And The Doctors Who Perform Them". [Buzzfeed]

"Ready to Ditch White Feminism? Here Are 6 Black Feminist Concepts You Need to Know".

"Battery Theory: For when the Spoon Theory is too confusing".

"Accessibility [of the web] according to actual people with disabilities".

"Are men talking too much?" is an online tool for tracking who's dominating a conversation. (Relevant info at this Facebook post.)

"A post for men about creepy men".

"The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility". [July 2016] (Uses Trump as an illustration, FYI.)


Miscellaneous

Via a post on [dreamwidth.org profile] wotd (Word of the Day), The Phrontistery dedicates itself to "obscure words and vocabulary resources". It includes lists of lost words, obscure words, word lists by topic, short words for Scrabble purposes...many things! I've barely scratched the surface.

"Finding Dory Writer and Hamilton Director to Tell the Story of the U.S. Military’s First Female Pilots". [The Mary Sue]

Via [locked], "Gratitude Lists Are B.S. — It Was an 'Ingratitude' List That Saved Me".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] jimhines, "Incredible Bonsai Trees Made Of 1000s Of Miniature Origami Cranes By Naoki Onogawa" and "10+ Badass Trees That Refuse To Die No Matter What".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] klgaffney, "The Lost City That’s Not Lost, Not a City, and Doesn’t Need to Be Discovered".
I keep trying and failing, because I don't know what to say apart from we won a Hugo!

(Anxiety keeps trying to make this not a big deal and something that I shouldn't talk about? But also hello, it is the biggest award in the field, no, this is exciting.)

Like, sometimes Lady Business is an odd experience, because it takes up so much of my mental bandwidth (in a good way), but also it's not something that I get to acknowledge in my offline life that much? So going to Helsinki, getting introduced as part of Lady Business and having people go "Oh, I've heard of you!" was just... That, on its own, that was amazing. And there were people who specifically went out of their way to tell me they were huge fans, and I can only hope I said something articulate, because they like our stuff, and they were excited about us, and we made them happy and I have no idea how to express how much that meant to me.

... I crack a lot of jokes about how I'm writing for six people and a shoelace, but I think this might be the first time I ever really took in that I'm not. It's a little bit terrifying, but it's also... I'm grateful. A handful of strangers went "Oh, you guys!" and now I've got happy tears running down my face.

So, uh, I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you. Thank you to everyone who nominated us and voted for us, thank you everyone who reads us whether you care about the Hugos or not, thank you to all of the other finalists in our category who were just so lovely and kind and gracious (again, god, I hope I was half as articulate back because I was so flustered at the time!) and just... Thank you. Everyone's been so kind, and I just needed you all to know I appreciate it.

...

... That's enough painful sincerity for now, I think. I'll be back to your regularly scheduled bullet points and yelling tomorrow, promise.

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 32

  • Aug. 13th, 2017 at 9:22 AM
32 -- if you could make a game for an anime of your choice, what would it be and why?

Not for a single anime, but at one point I was working on a yaoi-themed Fluxx deck with characters from anime, games, etc. I don't know whatever happened to all of my notes or rough cards (good thing with Fluxx - you can just use index cards), but I had hoped to eventually finish it to play at a Yaoicon some year. (whoops)

I'm now sort of wrongly tempted to try to finish it... if I can remember how it began.

(The problem is play-testing, I think. I don't have a lot of IRL friends I'd necessarily subject to that...)

Mishmash post before I do some work

  • Aug. 12th, 2017 at 2:27 PM
Revoltingly humid today--the kind of day where I'll be so glad to hit the shower, but am also kind of dreading it because getting out of the shower will feel so gross within seconds and the whole thing will feel pointless by the time I'm dressed. >.< (I'm really not good with sweat and stickiness. Why are bodies?)

This weekend I'm on once-a-day cat-feeding duty for friends who live maybe ten minutes away on foot, which is very convenient, but since it's evening feeding, it's too early for me to go and come back and be done for the day (and done being rained on, if that happens). *wry* I'm a procrastinator in many ways, but in terms of concrete things that have to be done on a given day, I usually lean towards getting them out of the way promptly, so a corner of my brain keeps perking up and thinking, "Oh! I could head over there now and be done--wait, no."

I need to post about K.B. Spangler's books/webcomic, and I even have some notes jotted down, but haven't managed to turn those notes into anything yet. (Technically her work all falls under the "A Girl and Her Fed universe" banner--AGAHF being the webcomic, which came first and I suspect is the best-known part?--but since I started with the novels, most of which are about Rachel Peng, who isn't even in the first act of AGAHF, I find myself defaulting to labeling it all as Rachel-related in my head.)

Anyway, I've read almost everything at this point, except that I haven't started the second act of the comic yet, and there are also some bonus comics or something available as pdfs in Spangler's online store, which I should pick up. So in theory, a proper post on it should happen any day now.

--For those who haven't heard, [dreamwidth.org profile] seanan_mcguire won the Best Novella Hugo for Every Heart a Doorway!

--There's a second track available from the upcoming Tori Amos album: "Up the Creek".

--My brain doesn't feel like it even has the memory of how to write fiction. Thanks, brain.

--I'm now three (3) whole episodes into Black Sails. I'm not remotely in love, but I gather very few people are at this point; that said, those three episodes haven't been as bad as I was afraid of. (That said, they've depicted several commonly-triggery things. But I went in expecting that, and am fortunate enough to not have any actual triggers myself.)

--This day is not conducive to staying awake, but Monday's deadline is fast approaching. And in the next month or so I'm hoping to get ahead on my freelance work, in case Casual Job starts up for the fall before September ends...and I just acquired some bonus prose proofreading work to do by the end of September, too. (Yay!)

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 31

  • Aug. 12th, 2017 at 8:59 AM
31 -- have you ever watched an anime with over 23 episodes?

That is such a weird number to choose, considering a large percentage of series are 24-26 episodes, if not more. I know shorter 12-13 episode series are becoming more common (or at least it feels that way), but...

...

For a long time, other than with OVAs, I'd be surprised if something was only 12-13 episodes long.

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 30

  • Aug. 12th, 2017 at 6:20 AM
30 -- how many anime episodes is 'ideal' for you?

Exactly as many as it takes to tell the story competently.

In the case of adaptations, as many as it takes to tell the story competently without gratuitous filler (arcs), removing or highly truncating arcs, and to keep a decent sort of pacing without the middle falling out.

I do wish Tekkaman Blade II had been about twice its length, though.

East of Midnight, by Tanith Lee; MagicQuest

  • Aug. 11th, 2017 at 10:56 AM
Dekteon, a slave in fantasyland, escapes and blunders into a strange world between worlds where horses have bear paws and he gets hired by a man who looks just like him to guard him from the terrors of the night. At least, that's the excuse. But it turns out that his new employer has a much more sinister task in mind.

This odd fantasy has some very beautiful, striking images and scenes, and the first fourth or so has a wonderfully spooky, dreamlike atmosphere. Unfortunately, once Dekteon is sent to the matriarchy of cold, bitchy moon women and the sun men they rule, the magic falls away and is replaced by an annoying plot in which he gets the better of the entire society just by being a manly man and not doing what the women say. I'm not objecting just because it's sexist. I'm also objecting because it's dumb and boring.

Not one of Tanith Lee's best. Though I do love the cover, which is 100% accurately taken from the book. A woman with an ivory bow riding a horned lion is what I read fantasy for; wish she was in a better book.

It was part of the MagicQuest series, a fantastic YA fantasy imprint which reprinted (or originally published some?) books by Patricia McKillip, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Dickinson, Robert Westall, Paul Fisher, and Elizabeth Marie Pope. They had great covers and sometimes also great interior illustrations, and I haunted libraries and bookshops for them - all were reliably worth reading, though I liked some more than others. (I never warmed up to Peter Dickinson, and the Pied Piper book was forgettable.) Except for the Westall book, I read all its books for the first time from that imprint; it introduced me to Diana Wynne Jones and Tanith Lee.

I wish the imprint had lasted longer, but it only put out 18 books. Looking them up now, I see that I never saw or even heard of The Last Days of the Edge of the World by Brian Stableford.

Anyone else read MagicQuest? What were your favorites and least favorites?

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[personal profile] branewurms
SERIOUS FEMININE DERANGEMENT

lim⋅i⋅nal ho⋅ri⋅zon

–noun
a place only seen through a green door.

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