villeinage: (Default)
[personal profile] villeinage
Suppose you are going to be marooned on a desert isle (or in my case, a long uncomfortable flight with long layovers.)

What are your long form fic classics that you could not live without, that you would download before the internet blew up?

Any fandom, any pairing!

So far, I've got:

Every Marine a WolfBrother
A Deeper Season
Motion Practice
Leave No Soul Behind

All recs welcome!
emeraldarrows: The X-Files - Mulder kissing Scully on the forehead with text "Mulder/Scully" (2)
[personal profile] emeraldarrows
Next on my reading list was Timekeeper by Tara Sim, which caught my eye with it's offbeat plot. And it turned out to be an absolute delight.



Summary on the back: In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time - and a destroyed one can stop it completely. It's a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny's new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower's clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield's time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he's fought to achieve. But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he'll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

My thoughts: I adored this book. From it's fabulous steampunk twist on history, to it's completely creative world-building, everything was complete perfection. The writing style was gorgeous, and I loved the entire creepy concept of time stopping an entire town, trapping the people inside. The concept of clock spirits was highly unique and fascinating - I wanted to know so much more about them! - and the historical details felt perfectly accurate, despite the interwoven fantasy elements. I enjoyed most of the background characters, and there were so many lovely scenes and moments, as well as an enjoyable ending.

Danny was a likable, thankfully non-annoying protagonist - I really enjoyed the concept of the mechanics in general, and it was such a delight to have a central character who wasn't the over-used savior type, but rather just an ordinary boy doing the best he can, and struggling to come to terms with the loss of his father and his mother's grief over it. Colton was instantly lovable, with his poignant loneliness and observations of the humans he watches over, and yet believably other-worldly. I loved the concept of him being connected to time - his little cog that he holds when he's sick was adorably sad - and their romance was sugary sweet and exactly what I'd hoped for. The whole plot had a funny, comforting feel, like an old children's novel, something I've never come across in a modern book, and loved.

I had no complaints whatsoever with Timekeeper and loved it wholeheartedly.

Just Relax

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:45 pm
lapetite_kiki: (Jim/Blair Villa)
[personal profile] lapetite_kiki
Look at that, it’s already the end of July! Jim and Blair were able to squeeze some free time to relax in a hot summer day.

Warning: They aren’t wearing many clothes. ;-)

(Just Relax)

Screen caps by me.

FMK #18: Writers of Color

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:11 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's F win was a tie between The Dragon and the George and Goblin Quest. I am waffling over which one to pick. Goblin Quest had discussion in the comments, but on the other hand, reading it would break my unbroken streak of not having read any of the many Hines novels I own.

K winner was the Callahan. I am going to keep Callahan's Crosstime Saloon but this may be the nudge I needed to just drop the rest.


Anyway, this week's FMK theme is SF by Anglophone Writers of Color. We will pretend the reason it was tough to get a set of ten together for this is that when I get one of these it doesn't linger as long on the to-read pile. (Actually, it was tougher than I expected because finding out race for a lot of SF writers - especially older and more obscure ones - is not simple. There does not seem to be an easily accessible and accurate masterlist of SF Writers of Color out there. And at some point, for some of then, I found myself thinking that if they aren't interested in making their ancestry part of their public bio, I need to not be looking this hard. I never did figure out if Philip Jose Farmer is actually in any way Hispanic.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Butler, Delany, Hamilton, Hurston, Martinez, Mosley, Reynolds, Takei, White, Wilson )

FMK: Discount Armageddon

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:25 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Poll post coming soon! But first, I have finished Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire!

It was fun! I enjoyed it! The characters were great! Much like the other McGuire I have read, I felt like the more I thought about it, the less there there was there! (I can't think of a single piece of internal evidence other than Verity's word that it took place in Manhattan instead of, like, Columbus, Ohio. The Price-vs.-Covenant thing really doesn't work with the logistics that are set up in the book. Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice. Etc.)

And I did really like the variety of cryptids and the cryptid community, but the "cryptozoologist" thing still bothers me, in that a cryptozoologist is a very specific thing situated in a very specific time and culture - it is not something like "witch" that has enough meanings with enough history you can basically go with whatever - and I would really really love to read an urban fantasy about cryptozoologists - and Verity Price is really really not one. (I mean, you could make a cool backstory about how the Prices and allies adopted the terminology ironically in the 60s to further distinguish themselves from the Covenant - or that Sanderson got himself in WAY over his head with a Price girl at some point and came out very confused, which is a fanfic I would definitely read - but she does not seem to be doing that.)

But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that. (I would also enjoy the fanfic about how Price family sex education includes a unit about how part of their mission is to introduce the urban fantasy community to the idea of "affirmative consent" which it had previously lacked entirely.)

I have Down Among The Sticks and Bones on its way from the library, but I have learned it is NOT about the Skeleton Girl (with that title how is it not about the Skeleton Girl?) so I find I am not that excited about it coming.
havocthecat: belly dancers with zils in a circle (hobbies belly dance)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Sometimes you look at a belly dance clothing vendor, admiring the beautiful clothing and considering a purchase because you need a new pair of pants (well, "need" is such a strong word, but "budgeting for a vanity purchase" is longer), but you notice some things:

You say to yourself, "Huh. All those models are really, really, REALLY thin."

REALLY thin.

You notice there are a couple of pictures of slender non-model dancers, and that's pretty cool, and a troupe of slender-to-average non-model dancers, and that's also cool.

Then you keep scrolling down and see that picture of the one non-model dancer wearing their clothes who might be considered larger-than-average has been cut off at the chest. You pause. You click. You see she's got a belly.

She's not fat. She's not plus-sized. Just larger-than-average. With a beautiful stomach, but one that's a little bit bigger than any of the other pictures that are actually visible on the site.

There aren't any plus-sized belly dancers on this site either. AT ALL. Which is weird. Because there are plenty of plus-sized belly dancers who are happy to buy dance wear. Especially custom-made dance wear.

That's when you realize that this clothing vendor doesn't want lardasses like you sullying their goods with your impure body.

So you close the tab and remember the name of the vendor, because you won't sully their bank account with your fat-stained money either.

(Edit: I don't have to add an "ALL body types are beautiful" disclaimer, do I? Or mention that the issue isn't that there are thin models, but that the one person on the largest size of the bell curve was CUT OFF below her chest in the picture. Let's face it, belly dance is a hobby where most of your customers aren't going to be model-thin.)

Recs! Humor and Heartbreak

Jul. 25th, 2017 12:11 pm
bluemeridian: (WW :: No Man's Land)
[personal profile] bluemeridian
I spent a good bit of time last Saturday writing this rec list up in Semagic. Sunday morning I did a last sweep and some final edits before calling it complete. Then opened a new file that I made some changes to and hit save-- which promptly saved over top of my completed rec list. Semagic has a weird save quirk that makes this possible when hopping between different files but I never remember that when I need to and I'll let you imgaine the swearing and clawing at face that proceeded, especially after I tried an immediate salvage of the file autosave and failed. So I then spent a good chunk of Sunday rewriting it from the scraps of memory. This time in Notepad ++ as all future posts will be drafted. *glares at Semagic icon*

ANYWAY, before all that excitement, when I first called up my rec tag shortlist, I realized I had over a dozen that were either Avengers/Captain America or Wonder Woman related (or, in one case, both), so I decided to run with those and give them their own list. These are heavy on the Steve, Bucky, and Diana, not surprisingly, along with two from Antiope's POV. They also feature significant appearances by Peggy, Tony, Pepper, Pietro, Wanda, Steve [Trevor], Donna Noble, and Bruce Wayne. Mostly fics as usual but one exceptional vid and a serendipitous art experiment also made their way in. There's 14 recs all together and the rec notes were written in order but you can, of course, pick and choose as you like. <3

ETA: The first couple of recs had a missing div coding error so they looked like one rec with the wrong title/link/author. That's been fixed now. :)

Onward to the Recs! )

setting the bar really low

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:14 pm
lannamichaels: text: "Don't panic" (don't panic)
[personal profile] lannamichaels


Today has been the worst anxiety/ocd-behaviors day I have had in fuck knows how long, it's been a while, it's really bad today, I am massively not okay, and this after yesterday of also not being okay. But! I made it to work. I didn't get much done at work, but I made it to work and sometimes that's all the triumph you can get out of a day. (plus friday's unexpectedly-all-day-meeting was enough of a nightmare that it totally counts for extra points)

I really kinda need this country to stop being in a constitutional crisis, it's not helping my brainproblems.

Why YOU Should Buy My Work

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:39 pm
kerravonsen: Crafty: a medly of beads (craft)
[personal profile] kerravonsen

Yes, YOU. Not the invisible person over your left shoulder.

Do you like subtlety, secret messages, and geekiness?

Read more... )

Do you like unique works which are impossible to replicate?

Read more... )

Do you like being able to interact with the artisan?

Read more... )

So have I convinced you yet?

Brainstorming For Yuletide

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:12 pm
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook will serve for lives)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I am compiling a list of things I would want to see nominated (or might nominate on my own) when Yuletide nominations do open in September. These are what I am currently taking into consideration:

-Makt Myrkranna | Powers of Darkness - Valdimar Ásmundsson
-The Haunting (1963)
-The Innocents (1961)
-The Uninvited (1944)
-Dark Shadows (1991)
-Dracula - Bram Stoker
-Dracula (TV 1968)
-Count Dracula (1977)
-Nosferatu (the 1979 remake) -Hammer Horror Films
-Universal Monster Movies
-Crimson Peak (2015)
-Fright Night (1985)
-Ghostbusters (Movies 1984-1989)
-The Last Unicorn (1982)

At the moment, I suspect that I’ll be nominating Makt Myrkranna (the Icelandic version of Stoker's Dracula that I discussed a while back) in that first slot. Either Dracula (TV 1968) or Dracula - Bram Stoker would go in the second slot unless someone else eventually nominated either one of those.

If it were going to be being released sooner than December, I would be able to add Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water to my list of potential things to throw in there.

Oh, and on a note that doesn’t involve Yuletide: I finally watched Jack The Ripper (1988), and I loved it.

Rest In Peace, John Heard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:14 pm
calliopes_pen: (taibhrigh hear the Ood song)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
John Heard has passed away at the age of 72. May he rest in peace. He was found dead in his hotel room yesterday, two days after having minor back surgery. He might be most well known for the role of Peter McAllister (Kevin’s father) in the first two Home Alone films. I also vaguely remember him from Cat People (1982).

Drowning In Clutter

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:18 pm
kerravonsen: Vila, worried, Avon, both looking off to the right: "We're lost, aren't we?" (lost)
[personal profile] kerravonsen

I have STUFF. It accumulates. Being a frugal, responsible person, I kept a lot of it because "it might be useful" or "somebody else might find it useful" or "I could give it away on Freecycle" or "I could sell it on Ebay". And I did none of the above. None.

The effort and stress of listing something on Ebay has obviously been too great for me to summon up the energy to do. Likewise for Freecycle. This gives me much guilt, because putting things into landfill when they could be recycled is BAD. BAD KA! BAD BAD BAD! I have thus been caught between feeling guilty if I threw it away, and feeling stressed if I didn't. Because Stuff Taking Up Space is getting to really stressful levels for me. I have all these craft materials! I need to put them somewhere! I'm running out of space!

I have finally said "enough!" (or "too much", really). Forget Ebay. Forget Freecycle. Forget them all. One phone call, and I have booked a Hard Rubbish collection. My hope is that people round about will take at least some things off the pile before it gets collected by the Local Council. Shove my guilt, the stress has just gotten TOO MUCH. Stuff it!

So. Hard rubbish. Today I've been going around the house gathering stuff and clearing away stuff. Hopefully my nephew will help me tomorrow to put heavy things outside on the kerb.

Read more... )

It will be good to get rid of it all.

quick crossover rec

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:12 am
ratcreature: RatCreature smokes Crack (crack)
[personal profile] ratcreature
Yer a Wizard, Parser! by takumiismypatronus. Slash, Kent Parson/OMC (8586 words)
Check Please!/Harry Potter
This was such a fun crossover, and somewhat unusually for Harry Potter crossovers it is not AU for either canon.
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)
[personal profile] dorothy1901
The USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship in the world (first launched in 1797), has been restored. There's a pretty interesting article on the restoration in today's Boston Globe, with photographs and diagrams. (So that's where the orlop deck is!)

Link: A look inside the USS Constitution’s restoration. (Note: the Boston Globe has a paywall, but I believe that non-subscribers can read up to five articles for free.)

Rest In Peace, Deborah Watling

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:09 pm
calliopes_pen: (sallymn Brigadier raining)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Deborah Watling has passed away, at the age of 69, following a battle with lung cancer. May she rest in peace. She played the role of Victoria Waterfield, companion to the Second Doctor, on Doctor Who. Unfortunately, most of her episodes were destroyed.

The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World managed to survive from her tenure on the series, along with the second episode of the serial The Evil of the Daleks.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.