- an excellent story, 'The Third Wheel' written from McCoy's point of view, which captures well the deep-down feeling between McCoy and Spock that we all expected was hidden there somewhere (1976)
- It also follows Connie's pattern of both De Profundis and Mojave Crossing -- starting out good, and then somehow, magically, late in the story, something inside the story fuses and melts and transforms into something incredible and breathtaking and very different. And in the last conversation between Spock and McCoy it's no longer idfic but it's a pitch-perfect moment of connection, really sincere, meaningful, and just plain lovely. Like a plot twist, except it's not the plotline that gets twisted. An emotion growth-twist? A character-relationship-arc twist? I don't know, but the ending of The Third Wheel is the most heartwarming new thing I've read in some time (2014)
We'd thought we'd beat it. She had a bone marrow transplant last March (from her brother), and up until the end of July, all the tests showed that she was clean. And then she wasn't clean, and had to go back into the hospital, where she missed her daughter's birthday and just enjoyed her own birthday in the hospital. Things didn't look good with her last biopsy, so they're doing another one today.
I parked in Brandon town, just in case going to the visitor centre left me returning to the car after it closed. I walked through some residential streets down to the forest, and followed the path to the brandon visitor centre. There's a little pond, and several play areas, and it's quite foresty while also being well sign-posted. You can wander round near the visitor centre and see lots of people, or go not far away and find it almost deserted.
I poked around the landmarks for a little, and walked past some artwork. I'm a sucker for anything named "X and rust" for some reason. And a mausoleum the size (and shape) of a modest house.
Then I went off down one of the trails, found a sunny open area, took my shoes off, and read and spodded for a while.
Then I felt like wandering, and with a combination of google maps and osm, I headed along whatever paths went east, to visit the bigger visitor centre, High Lodge. I'd forgotten that was the Go Ape place until I was halfway there, and also ran mountain bike trails of various difficulty round the forest.
Then I curved back round to the town and home. I went home via a pokemon gym at a church in a tiny village, just in case it lasted long enough to get another gym badge. It got halfway to silver but not more.
Thetford is very distinct. It's easy to navigate, because there are usually convenient gridlike paths or tracks around each square. And it's specifically planted and managed, so each square has a particular height, both of tree and often underbrush, completely distinct from adjacent squares. A few have been cleared leaving impromptu meadows.
But somehow, it feels less wood-y (I think of that as "bosky") in a way I can't clearly describe, as other woods, even small ones, that are more mixed. I don't know precisely what the difference is, if it's just the look, or if it's smell or similar.
When Lord George Cavendish, younger brother of the 5th Duke of Devonshire (or should I say brother-in-law of the famous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire?) inherited one of the family homes in London, Burlington House, he didn’t expect to be plagued with lackadaisical Londoners using his side garden as a convenient dumping ground for their trash. And oh, those old oyster shells begin to reek after a while, as old oyster shells will. So he came up with a novel solution, one for which generations of young ladies bless him: he built a shopping mall.
No joke. His architect, Samuel Ware, designed a broad covered passage running along his garden wall with an outlet onto Piccadilly. This long (585 feet) passage was lined with 72 small shops which had small apartments above them for the shopkeepers to live in; natural light came in through skylights in the ceiling, visible in the photo at left.
London was agog at this project and flocked to visit the Burlington Arcade, established “for the gratification of the public and to give employment to industrious females” (though only six of the original tenants were “industrious females”, male milliners and corset-makers who rented shops here were addressed as “Madame”!) The shops were all luxurious ones, featuring the most fashionable, up to date, and expensive merchandise, and any business whose trade could be described as noisy, noxious, or otherwise offensive was not allowed. King George VI’s official gold lace makers had his shop here.
Rules were put in place to keep the Arcade exclusive. Lord George recruited soldiers from his family’s regiment, the 10th Hussars, to serve as guards and enforcers of etiquette. These “Beadles” wore special uniforms and were on hand to ensure the rules of no whistling, singing, playing of musical instruments (to keep out itinerant street musicians), running, carrying large parcels, opening umbrellas, and baby prams. And though their uniform has changed over the years, they’re still there…because yes, the Burlington Arcade is still in existence. Though some of the shops have been combined so that there are now about forty, it’s still open and trading in luxury goods and now antiques…perhaps some of the items that were once sold there as new.
I ripped out one of the stories and tossed it in the trash, because it was written by a fandom bully who hounded hesychasm, among many others. hesychasm has written about them here. But genuinely enjoyed the rest, some of them tremendously. (I'm still thinking of Red, and Joash, and the time-travellers.)
At the weekend, I went blackberrying with my girlfriend. (She's amazing. Have I mentioned that?) It was an accidental sort of blackberrying: we filled her hat, because there was a patch of dead ground filled with brambles and berries and we just couldn't turn away.
With a cooking apple cooked down with chopped dates for sweetness, we made a blackberry pie:
I knew the budget was very low, but was impressed by how much the filmmaker did with it, using repeated imagery and sparse effects, like the force-shield dome over Toronto. The actors were terrific, and I liked the costuming and minimal but effective set-dressing (bright feathers appeared a lot).
The story focused more on the mystical aspects of the obeah than on the science fictional elements, I felt. The script seemed to be aiming for a coming-of-age story, about growing into and accepting power from without and within. But overall, I thought the same ideas were repeated too often, like the movie wasn't sure I-the-viewer could figure it out.
As usual with films made from novels, I was disappointed in how little of the book's story made it into the film, even though it was billed as only part of the novel. I think if you hadn't read the book, you wouldn't get much of an idea of it beyond the baseline, 'this is a futuristic dystopia in which there are people of color and obeah in Toronto'. On the other hand, for some viewers that would be enough to get them to watch. I want people to watch! And discuss!
For those who've read the book, it focuses on the beginning of Ti-Jeanne's relationship with Tony, and introduces the viewers to some of the book's basic issues (addiction to Buff and Rudy's gang, primarily). The organ-stealing plotline was not referenced, and Ti-Jeanne doesn't yet have Baby.
I noticed the dialect from the book had been toned down quite a bit, possibly to demonstrate the generational differences between Mami/Gros-Jeanne and Ti-Jeanne. Crack had been cast as a woman, which was interesting (Rudy didn't appear).
My friend and I stayed for the panel afterwards, and the director, Sharon Lewis, mentioned she was developing the book for a television series, aiming for something along the lines of Netflix or Amazon. I think that would work a lot better than the movie did - there is way too much plot for one feature. Here's hoping all goes well and it takes off and Nalo gets money!
( 8/24 pages below )
Issue #6 brings one of the characters with the most appearances in Groo's stories: The Sage.
The only one I've already read is Marvel 1602, because I just haven't read a lot of Marvel in the past two decades. Wait, I lie, I've read the Weapon X stuff because that was being published back when I was reading Marvel.
One of the students then asked if it was possible for the vertex A to coincide with N. I said, "I don't know. Let's find out!". I grabbed A with the mouse and pulled it towards N. The latter point also moved, of course, but more slowly, and I was able to catch up. I couldn't get them to coincide exactly, but that was a matter of human clumsiness - clearly they could be made to match. I had a doodad off to the side keeping track of the angle BAC; one of the students pointed out that the angle was almost exactly 120 degrees. 120 degrees being a Significant Angle, I decided this couldn't be a coincidence. Then, the student who had suggested the problem pointed out that the triangle was demonstrably (not just apparently) isosceles, and we saw that that meant the triangle HBC was equilateral! I realized that this tied in to another interesting set of ideas, which I pointed out as time ran out.
Understanding may not be teachable, but it is learnable!
I was a bit irked - apart from my previously stated historical-accuracy nitpicks - by the representation of women in The Limehouse Golem - no positive ties between any of the women characters, apparently either bitches or victims (even if the denouement complicated that), and the idea that Gay Men Were Their (unsuccessful and even deluded) Saviours.
And then I read some interview with I think Peter Ackroyd himself about the original novel and the film (cannot remember whether it was in the paper or online somewhere), and the opinion was expressed that in 1880, only a man dressed as a woman could speak for women.
A dubious proposition, I contend, in that there is also a tradition of drag as a way of expressing misogyny.
But women in 1880 were not silenced: this was a mere 3 years before the campaigns against the Contagious Diseases Acts (and when people are talking about statues of women, when will we have one for Josephine Butler?) obtained the suspension of the Acts, which were repealed in 1886. The 'Shrieking Sisterhood' as they were described in the hostile press, were very much not silent and not inarticulate.
Nor was this entirely about middle-class women. I'm pretty sure that women music hall performers expressed certain dissatisfactions with the state of things as they were in gender relations. There were also the drag kings of the day sending up men, if only by gentle subversion.
I can see it makes for a powerful narrative to have a woman so silenced that she can only make a protest by violent physical means, but I don't think that can be turned into a master-narrative for the entirety of society at that era.
I really liked this book a lot.
Taking place just before Leia gets in the mess, Gray has written a powerhouse book about destiny, privilege, friendship, family, emotionally fraught tea parties, and possibly the most awkward dinner party sequence of all time.
I thought Gray did a good job of balancing Leia's Action Girl and her Princess aspects. For example: Leia isn't a huge fan of her personal attendant droid, which is programmed to dress her and do her hair, but by the end of the book, realizes that 1. it's part of what/who she is, and 2. it's another tool she can use to operate.
Leia's reach frequently overextends her grasp in this book, but I didn't mind it. No one ever makes her feel stupid for messing up when she acts on the information she has. Instead they all talk about it like REAL PEOPLE, which I liked a lot.
ALSO ALSO ALSO
no spoilers, but JESUS CHRIST that tea party. I was on an airplane, and I had to keep setting the book down so I wouldn't freak out and alarm the flight attendants.
Also, you meet the woman who'll become Vice Admiral Holdo, and she's wonderful.
I JUST I JUST
...i just really miss Carrie Fisher. But this helps.
This is the culmination of the trilogy that started with Updraft. If you're the sort of person who needs to know that something has a definite-and-for-sure ending before you buy that thing: here you are, here is the ending, it is a really-truly ending that ends. (I really want to encourage people not to do that, because it's a good way to make sure people don't get to have their endings published--especially people like Fran who have given you nice volume endings in addition to the larger series ending. But I know that such people exist, so! Here is the information you were looking for: ending!)
I don't recommend starting with Horizon. This is clearly a culmination, and there are only two books before it to give you the plot and character arcs Fran is weaving together here; it's not like you have to read twelve bugcrushers to get to what she's doing here. Kirit and Nat and their friends and relations--and grudging allies, and adversaries--are back and struggling for survival--trying to figure out, from page one, what shape their survival can even take.
For that reason, it's hard to review Horizon in very concrete terms, because there's so much that it's doing that depends on the previous books. It's exciting from the first page, it's all engineering and all social and all heart, all at once. Fran's weaving threads and perspectives together in ways that she didn't in previous books--rather than resting on previous successes, she's doing this book in a new way, and it works. It's the way this book would have to work, but I love to see that in a first series, rather than copying the structure of a first book that's had as much success as Updraft has, I love to see an author following the story and doing what it needs even if the structure isn't the same. The previous volumes didn't pull punches, and neither does Horizon, but it does that in its own way.
The ending is satisfying without being overly tidy, without being one-size-fits-all for characters who have spent this whole trilogy coming in different sizes. And...I really appreciate the way people with common goals don't always trust each other, don't always like each other--and are sometimes very grumpy at the compromises they have to make with each other. The world is like that; the world of fiction too often finds it difficult to be both satisfying and realistic, but I think Horizon manages both. With lots of astonishing creatures and feats of derring-do in between.
Please consider using our link to buy Horizon from Amazon.
Location: Wales, UK
Describe yourself in five sentences or less: I'm Lucy, I'm a 38-year old woman who is trying to figure out this whole 'life' thing. I'm bisexual and poly, living in Wales with my partners. I'm a home maker, love to bake and cook, and am a huge sci-fi fan. I really enjoy playing board games, I'm learning to knit, trying to learn German and I'm also a little obsessed with journals/planners right now.
Top 5 fandoms: OK as of right now? Doctor Who, Stargate, Marvel/DC, MacGyver and Lucifer. There's loads more and I will happily chat your ears off about the things I love :)
I mostly post about: My family, mental health, movies/tv and just... life in general
I rarely post about: I always try not to post about politics and religion. I was always taught never to discuss them.
My three last posts were about: Star Trek Discovery, moving house, a random compliment from one of my partners.
How often do you post? Usually a couple of times a week but I've been absent recently due to moving house
How about commenting? Probably about 75% of the time, if I've got something to say, I'll say it :)
( It is long, so I will cut it )
Meanwhile in other language news, a much worse crisis: when I accepted Firefox's invitation to speed it up by "refreshing" it (which has indeed worked), it didn't mention that this would include getting rid of Adblocker and my add-on for pretending to be in Norway so I can watch the skiing when it is not at a convenient time on Eurosport (or I need more skiing). This would be a minor annoyance were it not that the new version of Firefox is incompatible with said widget. Aargh! Apparently there is something similar I can do with Chrome so I will try that, but I do feel that "By the way, you will lose everything you customised to make it work for you" was something they could have mentioned.
*At least once I had done the Deutsche Welle test myself to check I'm at the required level, because I'm not sure I believe it really.
**Students get much cheaper classes through the university. I could do them too, except I can't because they are when I am at work.
***There were a couple of people last year who might potentially work in Germany or Austria one day, but they would be doing so in English.