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[personal profile] catherineldf
So many things! I'm embarking on draft 2 of my current gaming tie-in story -- more info when I can share it -- and now the sink is backed up, in a totally unrelated but tiresome event. At least I got the pesto made before that happened. Oooph.

Last weekend's shenanigans included Diversicon 25, which was...a mix of things. Hanging out with Melissa Scott was lovely and I got to introduce her to a number of my friends, who were all thrilled to meet her. We had lots of good conversations and a couple of fine panels. I also got to see some other friends who I haven't seen for far too long so that was lovely as well. On the less lovely side, a contingent of the Frenkel Fan Club turned up and apparently shared their enthusiasm with the room at large at the memorial panel for John Rezmerski (who definitely did not share their enthusiasm), Michael Levy and a longtime Diversicon fan. I missed the "fun" because I was on a competing panel, which was probably just as well. I also had to "guard" Melissa from some importuning which resulted in sulking. So many eyerolls. Never insist that anyone read your work when they are clearly otherwise engaged and are sending out very clear signals that this is not the time or the place. This is even more annoying when you clearly have the wrong person to begin with and are refusing to acknowledge it. There were some other behavior "issues" as well, and given that and all the recent deaths which I think made it a much lower energy and less pleasant con than some previous years, it was a hard weekend. I hope they can turn it around for next year.


In other news, I have seen Valerian and been mostly unimpressed. Pretty though. And trip planning is moving along. I've added a trip to Blue Lagoon, a Tom of Finland walking tour, a tour of Suomenlinna Fortress and we're discussing a tour of Stockholm and of course, tea. And the Abba Museum. Good times!

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:02 pm
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[personal profile] jhetley
Sickle moon setting.

Things read, watched and heard

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:05 am
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[personal profile] china_shop
Recently read
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I've seen the series mentioned all over the place, so I went in expecting to enjoy it more than I did (it's not really my genre). Some pivotal plot developments happened offscreen in a way I found frustrating, and the unreliable narrator thing didn't work for me, but mostly I felt it (necessarily) didn't have strong enough relationships for me to care very much.

Every Day and Another Day by David Levithan. The first is about a 16yo person who jumps into a different 16yo body each day, spending midnight to midnight in their host's life before moving on to the next one. And then they fall in love, and it all gets complicated. I enjoyed this -- it felt tropey in an interesting way, and I liked how it dealt with gender. (Warning for unexpected fat-shaming, though.) The second is a remix -- the same story from the fallen-in-love-with girl's POV. It was fine? There's a lot of repetition between the two, and I wanted the ending of Another Day to give me more.

Reading next
Probably the new Natasha Pulley, The Bedlam Stacks. Plus mergatrude has been luring me with Combeferre/Enjolras/Grantaire Les Mis recs.

Recently watched Kdramas
Finished Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. The last six episodes were pure candyfloss and sparkles, and I enjoyed them tremendously (and hardly cried at all!). Almost nothing happened! (There was half an episode dedicated to the trauma of having a pimple on one's nose, and resulting shenanigans.) This show has leapt into my top 10 Kdramas.

Still watching Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, which is tonally ALL OVER THE PLACE, and rewatching Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. Just started Capital Scandal (2007), set in the 1930s during the Japanese occupation. So far it's very confusing, but first episodes are often like that.

Other TV
We're a few episodes into You Me Her, a Netflix show about a m/f married couple who mutually (and rather awkwardly) fall in love with a female escort. It's a little cringey in the way that's currently fashionable for TV light-dramas, but I'm enjoying it despite that. The guy is played by Amy Poehler's brother.

Films
The NZ film festival is about to start. I've bought tickets for:
- a Turkish documentary about the cats of Istanbul
- an Irish documentary about the Voyager spacecraft
- a South Korean drama set in France, called Claire's Camera (no relation to Claire's Hat, as far as I know)
- a South Korean drama set (I presume) in Korea, called Yourself and Yours
- a Thai drama about an architect and an elephant, called Pop Aye
- a French drama starring Catherine Deneuve, called The Midwife.

That should help boost my USA vs Other Countries film ratio! I may randomly try to go to other things during the day, depending on weather, availability and organisational oomph.

Also planning to see The Big Sick, Baby Driver, and possibly maybe Atomic Blonde and The Hitman's Bodyguard, if I decide I need some silly action in my life.

Podcasts
Still working our way through NPR's Invisibilia and enjoying it very much. Still keeping up with Fansplaining.

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:47 pm
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[personal profile] jhetley
Pay no attention to that con-man behind the curtain!

Hilton Als, White Girls, 2017

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:56 am
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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
I loved the first essay in White Girls so much that I fully became that obnoxious person monologue-ing about the book I was reading while my poor friends were just trying to drink their pinot grigio in peace. Hilton Als is a staff writer and theatre critic at the New Yorker, and I think I was expecting an ironic, distanced New-Yorker-contributor voice like Peter Hessler's in River Town or Katherine Boo's in Beyond the Beautiful Forevers, both of which I enjoyed very much. But Als writes like a man in love, about being a man in love, and that first essay especially just destroyed me.

By the time I met him and longed to be his wife, SL sometimes described himself as a lesbian separatist. No man could have him.... His gifts were road maps to our love, the valley of the unconditional.


The conceit of the title is that queer Black men are like white girls in all our fucked-up-ness and yearning for the full citizenship we are never granted. Ever since my first 50books challenge in 2009, it's been an article of faith for me that Black men and white women and people of color generally and queers of all stripes and all the others have no chance unless we make common cause, in the deep sense of seeking to understand one another's inner lives. To have that conviction reflected back to me is a true gift. I am inexpressibly grateful to this book and I press it into your hands.

Storybuilding: A Ramble

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:45 pm
kiya: (rune)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Kiya Nicoll.

I’m working on this story.

I have… nine tabs of reference material open, assuming I haven’t lost some somewhere, all of them about real-world culture and organization of the Marines (both US and Royal). That’s not counting the brief things I have opened, researched, and closed (“How would a Marine address their Navy corpsman?”).

Or the other things I’ve had open. Common world surnames, say, that’s one I keep having to pull up every time I get another speaking part. The aliens’ names are easier, there are only two of them in the platoon, and I can just make something up that’s in accord with their vocal apparatus. Trying to reach out for names that paint the suggestion that there’s a broad world full of human beings that contribute in the subtext, though, that requires some actual thought. And some thought, because just snagging ‘most common surname’ by continent or something is still lazy. Just a slightly broader lazy than before. But if the worldbuilding wants to include breadth of humanity it has to actually show it in the interstitial bits.

And then there’s more overtly political questions. I sit with this story, this story that I’m trying to root in a particular military experience, while proclamations are being made about trans people in the military, and I go, “… is there someone trans in this platoon?” Because that’s as conscious a decision as having women in the platoon, as having names for people that reach beyond European standards, and the odds are good that someone like Karou the hyenoid alien does not exist but I am damn sure that Chelsea Manning does. It’s easy to just grab the easy names, the assumed genders, the just-like-every-other-story bits, easy and lazy and anyway if it’s just like every other story why am I sitting and writing it in the first place?

And it goes on. Trying to articulate a plausible Space Marine ethos means spending a bit of time sitting with actual Marine expressions to try to figure out how that would translate, how to include it, how to express it in the story without sitting down and doing the “This Is What It Means” talk from people who are busy with their actual mission. It means coming up with story twists and angles that will let that actually show, rather than remain entirely invisible underneath the events. Which isn’t a different writing problem than questions of human diversity at all – it’s all about how to take the things that are true in the storyworld and make them visible and plausible.

I did a little mini-tweet-thread about this question of breadth of humanity, mostly talking about Cracked Pots, the novel in progress, but it holds here too. My gods, it’s full of PEOPLE. And figuring out the people means figuring out the things, the details that make them all real. All the effort into the little telling details and right moments.

This particular story is capped at 5000 words for the market I’m writing for.

Longer stories produce… notably more tabs.

Forewarned

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:33 pm

Another waveform collapses

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:16 pm
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[personal profile] jhetley

House up at the end of the next block has been crunched into its cellar, but not yet hauled away in shreds. More homeless rats.

Passing the hat

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My vet has an interesting receptionist and so what I was told would be a sixty dollar trip for their shots is in fact a two hundred dollar trip. This is all part of the seemingly futile effort to find them new homes. If people could donate towards the trip, that would be great.
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

I am reminded of the cover of a Joe Abercrombie novel where every time I took another look, I noticed yet another sword the character on the cover was carrying.

a nightmare this morning

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:08 am
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[personal profile] ritaxis
It starts with me watching a bit of a Trump speech or presser on a tv in a public space. It's unsettling but it's also foreshadowing. I go home--in this case it's an urban apartment, half below street level, in a brick building. It has big windows, and I can see into it before I go in. Ted's got a large group of people over to play a role playing game on a big table made of a sheet of masonite placed on trestles. This doesn't make me happy because we hadn't discussed it and I feel the need to decompress with him, to talk to him and listen to him.

When I go down into the apartment the kitchen is largely gutted. The line of cabinets is there, but empty, with doors and drawers gone, and the countertop is gone too. It's weird, because we hadn't discussed this either and I'm hungry and can't do anything about it and I can't talk to him because all these people I don't know are here. I go outside and the same thing is happening to the neighborhood--pieces of it are being gutted without any announcement. The place next door has had a bunch of valuable Precolombian artwork placed around the floor and on the sidewalk, which gives an inkling of what's going to happen there. A woman in overalls and a hardhagt is working and she hints that she doesn't know much about all this deconstruction but what she knows she can't tell me. Also, when I tell her about what's happening in my house she's really embarrassed, as she seems to have witnessed the work and to have some knowledge about that I should have but she doesn't feel she can tell me about that either.

The people in my house never seem to go home and I can't see any way to proceed so I just hang around getting more and more upset. Finally the game is over and some of them have left and I'm desperate and also I've been listening to him talk--or not talk-- and there's something about it that seems deeply wrong. So I just up and ask him what's going on with the kitchen. He doesn't say anything: he just looks embarrassed. I tell him it's just so weird that he didn't tell me anything about it, never mind asking me, he didn't even tell me, no warning. He says something but it's inadequate, it's not even the beginnings of an explanation or defense, and I see his eyes are so vague and kind of stupid and it hits me that he's not normal and he won't be getting normal again, that he's got dementia (like his grandmother) and life will never be the same. I'm off worrying about this and I say the word Alzheimer's to one of his guests and she's embarrassed  but what's much worse is when I wake up and realize that no, he doesn't have Alzheimer's, he's dead, he's gone, there's no Ted left to worry about at all.

Beautiful September day

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:17 am
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[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 51 F this morning, dew point the same, calm, with patchy fog. If we just skip ahead to match the weather with the date, we'll be fine.

yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
"All the Colors You Thought Were Kings" by Arkady Martine [Shimmer]. Heart-stoppingly gorgeous space opera, stars as sharp as knives. I wish I wrote half so well.

This was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

Tomorrow there’ll be ceremonies and presentations, and then your nanite horde will be calibrated for shipside on live broadcast for the entire Fleet to see – another cohort of kids full up with starshine micromechanics, bound to service and obedience, gone off into the stars. You’ve been dreaming about it since you could read. You want it so much you’ve spent the last three months feeling like your chest is going to burn out from longing.

The night after tomorrow, though. You can’t let yourself dream about that.

Under the drape of your overjacket, snugged up to your spine like you’re its best lovecrush, are the disassembled pieces of a sniper rifle. Nestled right at the small of your back is the lead-shielded explosive heart of an electromagnetic pulse bomb.

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 04:05 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Pitcher plants blooming. Also at least three kinds of bog orchids, and little tiny sundews.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



The Order of Truth's Aeon Priests have resurrected our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the tabletop science-fantasy roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future.



Bundle the first and bundle the second
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

By now, I imagine most of my fellow geeks are aware that when Peter Capaldi leaves Doctor Who in the coming Christmas special, he’ll be replaced by Jodie Whittaker. Naturally, not everyone was happy about the next Doctor being…gasp…a woman.

As the conversation progressed, I started to see more people suggesting the backlash wasn’t a thing. All they were seeing was people complaining about the backlash, as opposed to anyone actually being unhappy about a woman playing the Doctor. The whole thing was people getting angry over nothing, and feeding on each other’s anger.

Now Steven Moffat himself has joined in to proclaim, “There has been so many press articles about a backlash among the Doctor Who fandom about casting a female Doctor. There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative Doctor Who fandom has utterly embraced that change completely.”

Oddly, most of the people I’ve seen saying the backlash is imaginary, made-up, and/or blown completely out of proportion, have been men. Perhaps — and I’m just guessing here — because it’s easier for men to overlook sexism? Misogyny doesn’t directly affect us, so we’re less likely to notice it?

It’s like white people denying racism, straight people denying the hatred and intolerance of homosexuality, and so on. Just because we don’t see it — perhaps because we choose not to look, or perhaps because we’ve never learned to look — doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

For all those who share Moffat’s confusion, here are just a few examples of the ignorant, sexist, hateful, and sometimes flat-out batshit responses to Whittaker taking over as the Doctor.

#

“The replacement of male with female is meant to erase femininity. In point of fact, and no matter what anyone thinks or wishes, readers and viewers have a different emotional relationship to female characters as male. This does not mean, obviously, that females cannot be protagonists or cannot be leaders. It means mothers cannot be fathers and queens cannot be kings.

“…I have been a fan of Dr Who since age seven, when Tom Baker was the Doctor. I have tolerated years of public service announcements in favor of sexual deviance that pepper the show. But this is too much to tolerate.

“The BBC has finally done what The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen have failed to do. They killed off the Doctor.”

John C. Wright (you may remember him from his freak-out over Korra and Asami.)

#

Over on Twitter, @TechnicallyRon took comments from angry Doctor Who “fans” and turned them into title cards.

Lisa Crowther also screenshotted some comments from angry Daily Mail readers.

#

Twitter also has plenty of comments like this fellow’s woeful lament, “And again the PC brigade get their way. R.I.P Doctor Who” (Source)

#

Joe Scaramanga’s response to this sexist twit was a thing of beauty.

#

British tabloid and shit-filled dumpster fire The Sun responded to the announcement by publishing nude photos of Judie Whittaker.

#

Caitlynn Fairbarns has rounded up a ton of the negative comments and reactions.

#

But remember everyone, it’s not about sexism!

“It’s a woman. That’s it, Doctor Who is ruined. Like I said, I’m not sexist, I just don’t think it’s a good idea.” –Mark S.W.

#

Now, folks might argue that the majority of Doctor Who fans are excited about the Doctor being a woman. (Though there’s a very real and valid frustration that we’re on our fourteenth doctor and the character has still been exclusively white.) Others will say some of the negative comments are coming from trolls just looking to get a reaction, or that of course Daily Mail readers are being horrid about Whittaker’s casting.

You might be right. That doesn’t change the fact that the negativity exists. It’s not one or two isolated assholes. It’s a real and significant thing, and it’s closely tied to the kind of harassment and disdain and hatred and other forms of sexism women deal with every day. Sexism that men so often don’t see. Sexism we respond to by telling women they’re overreacting, or they’re just imagining things, or that if they’d just stop talking about it the problem would somehow magically go away.

I get it. You’re tired of hearing people complain about sexism. Gosh, can you imagine how tiring it must be when you’re constantly on the receiving end of that sexism. Constantly being told you shouldn’t be allowed to play the same kinds of roles. Constantly being told your only worth comes from your body. Constantly being told your inclusion is some kind of public service announcement. Constantly having your accomplishments belittled as “PC pandering.”

Look, I wish we didn’t have folks like Wright rolling around with his head up his ass every time his Straight White Manliness feels threatened by a cartoon or a TV show or whatever else he’s scared of this week, but we do. Pretending otherwise not only turns a blind eye to the pervasiveness of sexism and other forms of bigotry, it also means turning your back on those who are directly targeted by that intolerance every day.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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