(no subject)

18 Dec 2014 04:23 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I have finished the draft of my Yuletide fic and posted it to AO3. I'm still looking for someone to beta it. The first person I asked is too busy. I haven't heard back from the second person. I have got someone looking at it for SPaG who has no canon knowledge. Scott looked at it, too, before I finished it, and said that it seemed to him to flow okay.

Scott got stuck working late tonight. That sucks for all sorts of reasons. He's also working 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We're going to have to drive Cordelia up to Scott's sister's place tomorrow evening so that she can spend the night and be available to go further north to Scott's parents' place to decorate gingerbread on Saturday. It's far from ideal, and Scott had all sorts of things he really, really needed to get done on Saturday (things I can't do for him because they require a car or because I don't know exactly what he needs). I know he still needs to buy presents for his parents and for the older of our nieces in Seattle. He's still trying to get a working garage door opener. He needs to mail the package to our younger niece in Seattle. He wanted to do some baking, too. Christmas is going to be a little bare of cookies given his mother and sister are gluten free and his father and his sister are off sugar.

I've made a list of things I want to cook or bake over the course of the next five days. There are eleven items on the list. Some, like the salad for Christmas dinner, are easy. Some, like the Christmas porridge, require a lot of standing up. I foresee a lot of hand washing of the mixing bowl and baking pans in my future. I hope I can manage it all. I'm going to print out my list (which includes the ingredients I need that I don't know if we have in the house) and annotate it and prioritize it and schedule myself. I've got all day tomorrow and Saturday, but I don't have the ingredients for most of what I want to make. I suspect grocery shopping won't happen until Sunday. I don't even think we've got what I need to make Christmas porridge-- It takes a lot of milk. I'm also not sure how much butter we have. There are a couple of things I could make if we have enough butter.

I am scheduled to have lunch with a friend tomorrow. Maybe I can impose on her to take me shopping for a few things. I'd feel a little guilty about doing that, but she might be willing if I buy her fro-yo at the Orange Leaf in the strip mall with the Kroger. I need almond milk, butter (lots of butter), stick margarine, cream cheese, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and macadamia nuts. I think I could find all of that but the macadamia nuts pretty rapidly. I think we've still got an untouched dozen eggs, so we're probably fine on that front, and we just bought white sugar and all purpose flour.

I'll do the bacon wrapped dates Tuesday evening and the rice for Christmas dinner during the day on Wednesday. The salad for Christmas dinner can wait until Christmas morning. So can the cheese spread (though I may cube the cheese the day before).

(no subject)

18 Dec 2014 07:47 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I got more writing done yesterday after the kids came home than I expected to because they spent a couple of hours playing in Cordelia's room. I was comfortable enough with where I was in the story to attend the session of Scott's gaming group (just as well. There were only four of us out of the seven who usually attend).

[livejournal.com profile] booniverse brought cookies (and she left the extras with us!). [livejournal.com profile] cherydactyl brought candy and milk and vegan eggnog. I hadn't realized that vegan eggnog existed. I hadn't had anything approaching eggnog since I was about eleven because of eggs being a major migraine trigger for me, so this was a nice treat. I don't think Cordelia was very impressed, though.

We talked a lot about the FATE game. I think we reached some conclusions, but I'm kind of squishy on just what those conclusions were. Scott wanted to run the game that we, the players, wanted to play. Those of us present were concerned with trying to let Scott run what he wants. That made compromise both easier and harder.

Eventually, the other three played Bananagrams while I loaded the dishwasher. It looks like a fun game. I don't know that I could play it without panicking, not competitively, but it might be possible to play it solo. Who knows?

I've heard back from one potential beta reader. She doesn't have time to do the job. I've emailed the other one, but I'm less optimistic because this one said that she'd prefer not to beta fics over 2000 words unless there was plenty of time. Things are kind of tight right now, and my story is currently 5030 words and still incomplete. After I finish it, after my time in the library today, I'll see if anybody in Yuletide chat is able to beta for me. It seems at least possible.

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 11:41 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Don't take Lamictal. Your digestive system will attempt climb out and hit you.

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 10:41 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
ThePirateBay is down! I noticed this because I download the updates to the Dwarf Fortress Starter Pack from there, because the server the guy hosts it on is cruddy. I've been doing ThePirateBay wrong.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
(FYI, I am swapping the prompts for the 17th and 18th, because the original prompt for today requires a lot of illustration and I'm not done pulling the images together.)

December 17: what makes a crossover work/not work? (for [personal profile] transposable_element) [Tumblr crosspost]

The most important thing is that you must not make the characters of any fandom hold the Idiot Ball compared to the characters of any other fandom. Presumably they are all competent people. Let them be competent! This is even more important than power differentials. It may seem impossible to jam together a canon where people can casually blow up planets with a canon that has no fantasy or sci-fi elements at all -- and I agree that that would be very difficult! -- but if you let the unpowered people react like actual people would react in that situation, and let them work to find ways to deal with their relative limitations, you can still get a cool story out of the scenario. This goes for jamming together low-magic fantasy worlds with, say, sufficiently-advanced-technology science-fiction worlds as well. If you respect the characters, everything else can be hammered into functionality with enough time and handwaving. If you don't respect the characters, you're sunk.

(The exception is a crossover written specifically to argue that everyone in Canon A is useless and stupid, and the people in Canon B could fix Canon A's problems in five minutes, but I find those are a very disposable sort of fic: perhaps mildly enjoyable the first time, but with no reread value whatsoever. Also you're going to piss off at least half your likely audience, which is a stupid move.)

Another thing to consider is the kind of crossover you're writing. There are numerous options. Perhaps both canons have always existed in the same world. This can be fairly simple -- say, a cop show and a doctor show both set nominally in modern-day Earth. Or it can be trickier -- say, a modern Earth-like world with superheroes and a high fantasy secondary world with three moons and a red-giant sun -- in which case you have to decide which world is the dominant setting, and how much of the other world you want to retain for flavor. Perhaps your chosen canons have suddenly merged, two radically different worlds smashing into each other; that will certainly provide fodder for exciting plots! Perhaps characters from one canon travel to the other canon, which will have different effects depending on which canon contained the transport Macguffin. Perhaps the characters from Canon A take the places of the characters from Canon B, and act out the plot of Canon B with minor adjustments for their own quirks... or act out the plot of Canon A with minor adjustments for the world-building of Canon B. (Those are typically known as fusions, IIRC.)

Dimension-travel and dimension-merge crossovers don't work very well with non-fantastical canons, unless the story is about the mechanism behind the portal or merge and its aftereffects on the suddenly connected canons. On the other hand, always-the-same-world crossovers can be tricky to sell if your canons have sufficiently different rules of 'magic' -- for example, Doctor Who, the various Star Trek series, and the Stargate franchise all disagree profoundly about interstellar travel methods, the future history of Earth, and the nature of alien life in our galaxy; making them coexist in the same universe takes a LOT of handwaving. (Oddly enough, it is often easier to merge a fantasy canon and a sci-fi canon than to merge two sci-fi canons or two fantasy canons. Their rules are less likely to be in direct conflict.) So you should consider your canons carefully before deciding what type of crossover you want to write.

But those are just suggestions. So long as you keep the characters competent (or funny, I suppose, if you're using a comedy canon) and let them react to the crossover canon in ways that feel in-character, you can smash anything together. Some combinations may not be very sane or sensible, but hey, if we can't go nuts and reach for the moon now and then, what are we even in fandom for? *grin*

-----

December Talking Meme: All Days

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 10:09 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
The school called and emailed about 5:30 to say that power (and heat!) is back on at Cordelia's school, so there will be school tomorrow. I'm relieved because it means I'll have a couple of hours to try to finish this fic in between when I get back from the school library and when the cleaning lady comes. I think I'm only a few paragraphs from the end; my point of view character has figured out the mystery. Now he's just thinking through the repercussions. Scott doesn't know the canon, but I had him take a look just to see if the flow made sense.

(no subject)

18 Dec 2014 10:00 am
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
[personal profile] issenllo
Blind Spot, Hiccup/Astrid, How to Train Your Dragon, by ArtemisRae

Starlight and Fairytales, Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Lestrade, child AU, WIP, Sherlock, by starrysummernights

The Best Laid Plans, Q/Bond, AU, WIP, Skyfall, by Lafayette1777

***

With exams over, I've been taking it easy and trying to get scenarios of "what if" out of my head by reading and writing my Yuletide fic and also watching K-drama. Just finished The Master's Sun, rom-com with slight horror elements derived from the female character's Sixth Sense ability. Extra plus: the male character is played by So Ji-Sub and wears a lot of smart-looking clothes throughout the series. Also loved the genre-savvy deduction by So Ji-Sub's character, not only about how his magially-induced amnesia came to be, what what exactly the amnesia was hiding, i.e. that he was in love with the self-sacrificing Tae Kong-Sil (played by Kong Hyo-Jin - not my favourite, but she's rather adorable at moments). I always get frustrated at how seemingly idiotic amnesic characters behave in dramas and movies. So that was pretty enjoyable.
sothcweden: blue and white mosaic depicting clouds in a blue sky (mosaic)
[personal profile] sothcweden
Halloweenies @ Dark Delicacies

Pumpkin Lace: a cascade of cobwebby white sandalwood threaded through vanilla bourbon, sharp green cognac, Virginia tobacco, and caramelized sugar, all draped across a freshly carved jack-o-lantern.
wet: something buttery, but almost unpleasant like my reaction to Miskatonic University, just not as bad.
dry: still not liking it - it's almost musty smelling.
after an hour: it's less noxious on me now, but still a Nope.

Papa Monster: grape and red cherry swirl ring pops, licorice whips, and a touch of vanilla cupcake frosting
Starts out as fun, sticky-sweet grape candy/soda, but eventually fades to something plasticky on me after a couple hours. Not for me, but maybe my niece who is six will like it?

Lilith 2014 - scents to celebrate the sixth birthday of the BPAL owner's daughter

Goofballs: “wet grass and sunshine, dogs and wood, and my feet in warm dirt and flowers I pick.”
Smells like summer!

Lily Witch: Lilith named this scent, and said this perfume should smell like witches. Her interpretation is swathed in anise, lime, almond, and witchin’ herbs, and holds a bouquet of pale, graceful lilies.

It's entirely possible I have the olfactory taste of a six year old, since I like both of these scents, though Goofballs is the only one that's going on the Bottle list.
serene: we're having hot lesbian sex. and by lesbian sex, we mean tea. but it's hot. (lesbian tea)
[personal profile] serene
Reading:

I picked up a book by someone I like and respect, and it just wasn't my cup of tea. Not badly written; just not the sort of thing I go in for. I gave it around thirty pages and moved on.

Next, I'm on to Chang-Rae Lee's On Such A Full Sea. Not very far into it so far. Seems futuristic, but can't tell; that's not a bad thing, as I'm only perhaps ten pages in. Writing is so far is lovely, as expected; he wrote one of my favorite pieces of creative non-fiction. Will report back soon.

Edit: I'm also reading Connie Willis's Doomsday Book. Liking it a lot so far.

Listening:

Got Wynnona and Indigo Girls and Linda Ronstadt (What's new? How is the world treating you?) on in the car. Also have an old Karen Carpenter that mom picked up for me at the yard sales, but I disliked the first song, so I skipped it. May give it another shot later. When I'm alone in the car, I play my game where I stop on the first thing that's actual music and not a commercial, so I'm hearing lots of new stuff: mariachi and rap and classical and pop and so on. I enjoy most of it, and dislike very little of it. I continue to have mixed feelings about "All About That Bass," which continues to be my most persistent earworm.

Also, I don't think to mention this, usually, but we listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me every week.

Playing:

I didn't care for Plants vs. Zombies 2. Not only because it requires a camera (anyone know why?) to download, but because there's just too much going on. If a game gets too frantic and fast, I start mashing the keys and lose interest.

Still playing PvZ1, Dots, Two Dots, and Royal Envoy 2, along with a thing called Dropwords that makes me long for Bookworm, so I may go see if they have an Android version. Are you playing anything fun right now?

Watching

Checked out a couple of discs of The Saint from the library. Really sexist -- he slaps women All. The. Time! Definitely not going to get more of them, but to be honest, it's the kind of show James and I tend to watch: intrigue/mystery that's not challenging to the thinky bits.

Netflix has some more seasons of Suchet's Poirot,  I still really like it, and it's been long enough since I've read any of the stories that the only one I knew the ending to was the Orient Express.

Disney re-released Sleeping Beauty, a childhood fave of mine, after years of not making it available, as part of the whole Maleficent thing, so we bought Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent both.

I will not give you the feminist commentary on Sleeping Beauty today. You can probably find it online [Jezebel | Tor] | Feminist Fiction | etc]. But I loved that movie as a child, and I was especially enchanted with Maleficent, who intrigued me and sent a frisson of dread/exhilaration through me. I thought she was beautiful and fascinating and interesting.

So why did I fall asleep watching the Jolie piece? Dunno. Will try again, because there certainly is a lot of interesting alternative story going on, and it's right up my alley, but the pace was slow and Jolie's accent was driving me buggy, and I fell asleep about halfway through.

(

17 Dec 2014 08:58 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
The joke in those tags was that characters in Valdemar books really do die and become horses. Mercedes Lackey genuinely thought that this idea was really cool and that it belonged in her books.

)

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 08:56 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Characters in Bleach die and go to Yami no Matsuei, and characters in Yami no Matsuei die and go to Bleach.

Characters who die in both consecutively go to Dragon Ball - aka, hell - a realm where there is no true death, and therefore, no hope of escape.

#'but where do characters who die in homestuck go preacher' #'they become horses in mercedes lackey books'
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Mom has forbidden him from bringing home any more animals, so he's trying to get me to adopt some for him to play with. Earlier today, I for probably the dozenth time explained to him that I think Dubiety the Cat needs to be a lone cat, given that he is terrified of Tragedy the Cat - who is seventeen years old, half his weight, badly arthritic, deaf, and going blind.

So he comes over to the house this evening, sits there playing with Dubiety for a while, and then asks me hopefully, "do you think he'd like a friend?"

I gave him the cookies I fucked up. I don't think he noticed they tasted funny.

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 05:57 pm
[personal profile] dsgood
From Marty Helgeson 12/14/14

"'Adam and Lilith lived happily ever after. So did Eve and the Snake. Should we classify this group as Christian?'

"You didn't say who/what the group is, not that it really matters. I assume your question was rhetorical."

The only group I've named so far is the Martian Israelites, who present another set of problems.

The group faced with this question decides to refer it to the Religious, Spiritual, and Philosophical Council -- which thereby comes into existence.

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 05:00 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Why does this cat need to be right next to me 100% of the time. Does he think bad guys are going to get him if he goes into the other room. Does he think bad guys are going to get me. What is either of us even going to do about bad guys, whine at them.

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 04:45 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
The last word was that power didn't come back on at the school when it was supposed to. They sent out another mass email and wave of calls telling parents that aftercare at the school is canceled because it's getting very cold and very dark. They don't think the school will be safe as the light fades. I have no idea what DTE is doing or what this means for school for tomorrow. Hopefully, power will be restored soon, and the building will warm up before anybody's due to arrive in the morning.

I suppose we'll find out in the morning. I hope there is school. I don't think I could cope with another day of kids at home just now.

I am within a few paragraphs of finishing my Yuletide story. I've found a title for it. I'm thinking about emailing potential beta readers this evening, even if I don't finish first. It would be useful to know whether or not either of the people who offered to beta the fandom have time. It's not guaranteed at this point in the season. (I'm pretty sure none of you who have betaed for me in the past know this fandom. That's why I'm not asking you.)

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 02:58 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Since I've still got time with the kids distracting me, here's a meme entry. I'm not sure how seriously to take this topic. [personal profile] silverr listed about twenty questions (even after I eliminated the ones that I really couldn't answer or that duplicated things other people had asked me), and this is rarely asked seriously in my experience. Anyway:

What are your thoughts on yaoi?

When I first came into fanfic, I came in mostly through anime/manga fandoms, and I saw all m/m slash labeled as 'yaoi,' so that's the convention I followed. I thought the terms were synonymous.

I thought some things were strange-- Like those folks in Gundam Wing fandom who fought not just over pairings but over who topped in the pairing. 1x2 was considered a completely different thing from 2x1, and neither set of fans was keen on 1x2x1. (For those who don't know, in anime/manga fandoms, the order in which the character names are listed tells readers who they should expect to do what. The character listed first always tops.) There also seemed to be a tendency to weaken one of the characters in comparison to how he was presented in canon.

What I didn't know at first is that yaoi is a commercial genre in Japan. It's a genre with very specific conventions and a very specific audience (adult women). There's always a size difference between the two men, and often the smaller one is younger than the larger one. The smaller one tends to display a lot of stereotypically feminine traits, and the larger character frequently (but not always) forces himself on the smaller. This results in true love.

I'm not entirely (or even mostly) comfortable with the genre conventions of yaoi. Some of that is that I'm dubious about most romances, yaoi or slash or otherwise. I tend to want something more to the story than a lot of romance provides. I want a different type of plot complication than is typical. I think that shows in what I write. I'm terrible at straight up romance. I don't think I've written it successfully more than once or twice. Usually, I don't even try.

So I guess my main thought on yaoi is that I wish it were more flexible and did more of the things that interest me, but I feel that way about slash in general, too, and about f/f and het romances. I wish I were clearer on just what I do want so that I could articulate it.

(no subject)

17 Dec 2014 02:29 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Here I am posting again and my story not yet done. Circumstances have changed, and I'm not in a position to work on the story just now, so why not?

I made it through the rest of my first draft this morning then took time out to make what I expected to be a quick trip to Cordelia's school to drop off her lunch money. I thought I'd be out of the house fifteen minutes, tops. So much for my plans.

When I got to the school, it was dark. I found quite a gathering of teachers in the office. They were debating what to do. DTE had cut power for the school (a planned outage that they didn't bother to warn the school about). This also took out the phones and the heat. When I got there, power had been off for about two hours and was expected to be off for at least another three hours. The office staff asked me to stay because they were pretty sure they were going to want to send the kids home.

Some parts of the school were already fairly cold. It was 32F outside, so it was warm for Michigan in December, just not warm compared to what the school should be. Some rooms were quite dark, too. The sky was overcast, so there wasn't much sun to begin with, and quite a few classrooms don't get much light even when it's bright out. They'd arranged to take the school lunches to another school to be heated, so there was hot lunch available.

They eventually decided that they couldn't actually close the school because many parents wouldn't be able to pick up their kids. Instead, they notified parents and asked them to come pick up their kids if they could. Cordelia was in orchestra, and I figured I could let her finish that before I took her home. In the meantime, I got a phone number from the office for Cordelia's best friend's mother. I knew there was no way she or her husband would be able to pick up their kids, and I usually take them when school's cancelled. The mother was happy to give me permission (she had to talk to the principal directly) to take her two kids home. She hadn't yet gotten the notice about the problem at the school.

There was some mix up about which kids I wanted. The younger kid is one of two kids in his class with the same name (well, his name is pronounced differently from that of the other boy. They just spell their names the same), and they brought the other boy out at first. They also, when they went to get Cordelia, didn't call for her friend. I had to send Cordelia back for her. There was a fair amount of back and forth as the kids collected their backpacks and instruments and all.

I made mac 'n' cheese for the kids pretty much immediately. They were eager to eat. I was afraid I wouldn't get any more writing time, but after lunch, they all three went into Cordelia's room, and I could write for about an hour and a half. Right now, they're back in the living room, playing MarioKart and yelling at the screen.

I'm very, very close to finishing this dratted story, but I can't concentrate while they're in here with me (and there isn't a good place for me to go to get away from them). Hopefully, they'll give me another break later. I want to finish before our gaming group meets tonight. We'll be a couple of players down, and I'd like to participate (I'm not sure Scott will understand if I don't). I don't expect writing time tomorrow, and I'm not sure how Friday is going to look. Ideally, I'd like to post the completed draft today and go in search of beta readers (I figure I can polish even after deadline as long as I've got a completed story to begin with). I still have to find a title. I might work on that while the MarioKart players are yelling.

Books on Wednesday

17 Dec 2014 04:06 pm
starlady: (heaven's day)
[personal profile] starlady
What I'm Reading
Silver Spoon vol 4 by Arakawa Hiromu - It's still great. Also I'm really jealous of all their fresh vegetables.

The Maker's Mask by Ankaret Wells - After the disaster of The Three-Body Problem I wanted some sci-fi that was about as different as possible. I've only just started, but I'm quite enjoying the book so far. Ladies! Pseudo-medieval post-planetfall politics! Genderqueerness! Assassins!

Razorhurst by Justline Larbalestier - I bought this while I was in Australia, and it's just been short-listed for an Australian literary award, so I'm hoping to finish it soon!

What I've Read
Clariel by Garth Nix - I think the best thing to say is, it was worth the wait. I'm really impressed at how many writerly tricks Nix pulled off here, and how a book written 11 years after its predecessor but set 600 years before can so effortlessly set up the next book in the series. I also was impressed at how suspenseful I found the book to be, given that I knew the ending going in. MORE OLD KINGDOM NOW PLEASE.

Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown - At long last the #YesGayYA book is available in the world, and I quite enjoyed it, which to be honest is no less than I expected. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, but it's a very animanga kind of livable, quotidian postapocalypse, and the society it portrays is interesting and believable, with just enough vampiric plantlife thrown in to keep things interesting. Honestly I think this book may appeal to fans of X-Treme X-Men, as it really is "the X-Men in the Old West" in some ways, even as it's also one of the most LA books I've read--not Hollywood, but actual LA with actual people. The food descriptions alone nearly made me want to book a flight back to California; I did go out to the best Mexican restaurant in Tokyo because of it. And, of course, I also found the characters interesting, and wasn't fussed by the switching between multiple protagonists, or by what happens to them.

Essentially, I disagreed with the [community profile] ladybusiness review on basically all points, and in particular, I wanted to mention that I don't think that queer characters in books should be treated like they're made of glass. A story in which being gay and suffering for it in whatever way is not the only story that should be told about gay characters, but at the same time, it's not like nothing bad that isn't about being gay ever happens to gay people, and what some of the gay characters in this book have to deal with in terms of parents and family is stuff that everyone has to deal with. I think it's just as important to represent those kinds of things in fiction because they are universal, or the next best thing to it, and gay readers deserve to have that chance just as much as straight audiences. (I also appreciated that gayness isn't just for white boys. Indeed, most of the protagonists are people of color, which was refreshingly realistic for a book set in future!Los Angeles.) I will say, however, that if you haven't liked Sherwood Smith's other books, I don't think you'll like this one. She has a very distinctive close third person POV style that, quite frankly, took me a while to get used to when I first started reading her books, and though obviously this is a co-written book and the style isn't "strictly Sherwood," if you will, there's enough of it in the prose that I'm confident in this prediction. All that having been said, I loved it, and I'm very excited to hear that Hostage, the sequel, is coming very soon!

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison - I was not expecting to sit down and devour this book in less than a day but readers, I did. IT'S SO GOOD. It follows Maia, the despised youngest son of the elf emperor who unexpectedly inherits the throne after most of the rest of his family die in a suspicious airship accident. I'm still bitter about The Mirror Empire and grimdark, and I really appreciated a fantasy novel with goblins and elves and airships and bridges in which the struggles are about how to overcome one's own ignorance and how to enact good policy for one's realm. Maia is deeply sympathetic, and his relationship with his mother's family--he is essentially biracial, being half-goblin and and half-elf--was particularly interesting. I'm not sure I should even mention that Katherine Addison formerly wrote books under the name Sarah Monette, but I do think that assertions that this book is totally out of character with her previous work is somewhat wrong. It's true that this book is in many ways the polar opposite of something like Melusine and those books, but in some ways Maia's struggles to figure out how to interact with the world reminded me very much of my absolute favorite of Monette's works, namely the Kyle Murchison Booth stories. I do think there are subtle continuities between this book and Monette's earlier work, but I would also say that if you bounced off any aspect of the Melusine novels, I would heartily recommend giving this one a try. Her prose is a delight in and of itself.

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones - I read this because [personal profile] littlebutfierce mentioned it in a December meme post, and I devoured it. It's a masterpiece and if you haven't read it you must do so now--I especially recommend it to those of you who, like me, are rather over the whole Tam Lin thing or never even got into it in the first place. (Ironically, I've read a lot of Tam Lin books and will read more. But as Jones herself says in this book, if you can't find things worth reading in fairy tales that is your problem.) It is not very Tam Lin-ish even though it's a Tam Lin novel; there's far more of T.S. Eliot in here, which makes me happy because Four Quartets is my absolute favorite Eliot. That said, I am not ashamed to admit that I relied quite heavily on [personal profile] rushthatspeaks' two essays explicating the ending to understand what happened, and to those who may have found it confusing, I highly recommend those posts: We only live, only suspire/Consumed by either fire or fire and The way upward and the way downward are the same.

Silver Spoon vol. 3 by Arakawa Hiromu - Still excellent. I appreciate the peeks into Arakawa's philosophy, which was an aspect of FMA that was de-emphasized as things went on, understandably.

What I'll Read Next
Probably the book after the Wells one, since I'm given to understand that they're a very tightly knitted duology. Also more Diana Wynne Jones! And more Silver Spoon of course.

whois

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

November 2014

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