politics, argh

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:52 pm
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
[personal profile] cofax7
OH THANK FUCK. (Re: McCain for once did the right thing and voted down the "skinny repeal" bill which would have resulted in 16 million people losing health insurance within a year.)

In other news, I may be giddy with relief, but this made me laugh like a drain.

ArmadilloCon

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:05 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
Coming up on August 4-6 is ArmadilloCon in Austin: http://armadillocon.org/d39/#/

Major guests are: Guest of Honor: Nisi Shawl, Toastmaster: Don Webb, Fan Guest: A.T. Campbell, III Artist Guest: Mark A. Nelson, Editor Guest: Trevor Quachri, Special Guest: Tamora Pierce


My schedule is:


Friday: teaching at writers workshop


Saturday

Sa1100102 Reading
Sat 11:00 AM-11:30 AM Room 102
Martha Wells
(I'll probably read something from The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition)


Sa1200DR Signing
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers' Room
J. Comer, J. Wells, M. Wells
(I'll have Raksura stickers with art by Pentapoda to give away.)


Sa1400BE Pantsing vs. Outlining
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom E
C. Clevenger*, B. Crider, N. Southard, J. Reasoner, J. Wells, M. Wells


Sa1500BE Novellas (non tele)
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom E
J. Reasoner, A. Simmons*, W. Spencer, H. Waldrop, C. Ward, M. Wells
Is the Novella just a stunted novel,a spring-board for an awful fix-up novel, or the perfect length for written SF?


Sa1700SPB Fan Guest Interview
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Southpark B
A.T. Campbell, M. Wells*, T. Wilson*



Sunday:

Su1100SPB Preview of World Fantasy 2017
Sun 11:00 AM-Noon Southpark B
R. Babcock, J. Miles, M. Wells*
Co-chairs and Toastmaster of the upcoming World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio tell us what's coming

Wednesday Reading Meme

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:05 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

R. Roebuck, ed., Cornelius Nepos: Three Lives: In Latin. I only read the life of Alcibiades, which was edited slightly for schoolchildren (as usual, they omitted a reference to the unspeakable vice of the Greeks). I was unaware that Alcibiades was murdered by a bunch of people who set his house on fire and then threw spears at him. That seems very thorough. I was also unaware that the Thracians were such party people; the conclusion talks about how Alcibiades was the best because when he lived with the Spartans he was all strong and austere like the Spartans (better than the Spartans, apparently), and when he lived with the Persians he was good at hunting, and when he lived with the Thracians he was good at drinking and sex. Yyyyyeah.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday! Apparently the last issues for SteveCap and SamCap? I don't know, that was what the internet told me. Apparently we're switching to a combined Cap #25 next.

Black Panther #16, Captain America Sam Wilson #24, Captain America Steve Rogers #19, Iceman #3, Infamous Iron Man #10, Mighty Captain Marvel #7, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #21, Secret Empire #7, X-Men Blue #8 )

What I'm Reading Next

No idea.

wednesday reads 'n things

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:04 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Text: Empowered: Agent (Empowered, #1) by Dale Ivan Smith, which so far is the best Instafreebie book I've tried (a rather low bar). The world-building is simple but fun; it's not just that Empowered people (that is, people with superhero-type powers) exist, but it's also an alternate history - one in which Richard Nixon prevented a nuclear war from escalating into global destruction "after Washington DC had been destroyed by a Soviet nuke fired from Cuba." (So I guess Kennedy didn't stop the Soviets...) This only shows up incidentally, at least in this book, but I am charmed by Nixon being considered a hero in this universe.

Mat is a good character, an interesting woman with a skill - manipulating growing plants - that is clearly much more useful (and lethal) than anyone gives her credit for. The Hero Council choice of "join us if we can use you, otherwise you must swear to never use your power" seems rather terrible to me, a bit of shoddy world-building but I guess it's needed for the plot. Her choices and actions are reasonable, especially as circumstances paint her into a corner. I like that she has a family she cares about, and I also like the lack of romance (though I suspect one is building).

The writing is okay, not great, though it's mostly free of typos and technically adequate. There are few obvious errors (such as a character being identified by name before Mat would actually know her name) but also few flashes of brilliance. Mostly it's just somewhat flat. I didn't feel particularly pulled along or emotionally invested, and this, plus uneven pacing toward the end, contributed to a general feeling of anticlimax.

Audio: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which was a SYNC offering, and surprisingly enjoyable and novel for dystopian YA. This is set in an alternate future in which the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 led to the need for split-shift staffing of hospitals, a day set and a night set of doctors and nurses, which in turn proved so efficient that the division between day workers and night workers was expanded to all parts of life, formalized and codified and enforced by law. But as daylight living is more natural and presumably more enjoyable, gradually the night people ("Smudges") became stereotyped as stupid, undesirable, lesser than the day people ("Rays") - and it took me until about 3/4 through the book to realize this was a civil rights allegory.

Yes, there is some suspension of disbelief required, but no more than, say, teenagers fighting to the death broadcast on television, or a society discarding all but a hundred selected novels, songs, and films. And what makes this an actually good book is that the plot is legitimately interesting and complex, and goes in unexpected (but foreshadowed) ways. There is a romance, which is somewhat cutesy and predictable, but at least it's not a love triangle - and, speaking of YA tropes, though this is in first person it is in PAST TENSE THANK GOD.

I liked the ending, which is not pat or universally happy, and which leaves a lot of things open-ended for a sequel (or for fanfiction). I would like to have seen a more explicitly "fight the system" plot, with Sol and the other characters actively working to bring the system down - maybe this will be in a subsequent book? Finally, I ship Sol/Gigi la la la and will be nominating this for Yuletide.

The audio version also includes "Noma Girl", a prequel short story which is also available free online. It was a nice fleshing-out of incidents only alluded to in the novel, but there's no new worldbuilding or anything unexpected here. I did like the more sympathetic view of Gigi. I don't think it will make sense if you haven't read the novel.

Webcomic: For some reason I followed a link (from Goodreads, maybe?) to The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E. K. Weaver, which I'd vaguely heard of through osmosis but really didn't know anything about (I didn't realize it was a comic, for one; for some reason I thought it had to do with lesbians) and devoured it over the course of four or five days. It's a gay (m/m, and has some nsfw) roadtrip story in which the title characters get to know each other and find themselves (well, sort of). If you haven't read it, I recommend it! There is a tiny fandom, and I believe the comic was originally posted on LJ as a WIP.

What I'm reading now: Cibola Burn, the fourth Expanse book. So far I'm about 25% in and enjoying it more than the previous book, Abaddon's Gate. Also, wow, apparently all minor characters are gay in this universe, or at least every throwaway line about people being married refers to a same-sex relationship.

What I'm reading next: Now that I'm recommitted to this book series, I've got the next two on my phone.

What I've just finished watching:

Movie: I finally watched Hidden Figures, and it was every bit as awesome as I'd hoped. ♥ My mother was a chemist for the FDA before and during this era, and I realized that at least she had the advantage of being white (though she had the disadvantage of being Jewish). I can't imagine what it must have been like to have both racism and sexism barriers looming so hugely in one's life.

TV: We have finished S2 of The Expanse! I am still a little weirded out by the timelines of book series and show being off from each other. I also thought the Ganymede plot was done better by the show, but the Avasarala and Bobbie plot was done better in the books.

What I'm watching next: Nothing for a while, because on Saturday we are headed out for a week of backpacking in the wilderness and so we might as well hold off on starting anything new. I'm trying to talk B into getting a short-term subscription to HBO Now via Amazon Prime so we can watch Game of Thrones. (His objections are that a, he hates WIPs even more than I do and wants to be able to watch every day or every other day rather than waiting a week between episodes, and b, he is sure they will make it hard for us to cancel after a month or two.)

In the meantime, [community profile] remixrevival has signups through Sunday, and [community profile] crossovering has extended signups through Sunday, so if either of these interest you, you have a few more days to join up!

World Fantasy Award Nominees

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:11 pm
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
http://www.tor.com/2017/07/26/the-2017-world-fantasy-award-nominees-have-been-announced/

Congrats to all the nominees!

Novel

Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
Roadsouls, Betsy James (Aqueduct)
The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)
Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff (Harper)

Long Fiction

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
“Bloodybones,” Paul F. Olson (Whispered Echoes)
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Short Fiction

“Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Seasons of Glass and Iron,” Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
“Little Widow,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare 9/16)
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me,” Rachael K. Jones (Clockwork Phoenix 5)

Anthology

Clockwork Phoenix 5, Mike Allen, ed. (Mythic Delirium)
Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)
Children of Lovecraft, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Dark Horse)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)
The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)

Collection

Sharp Ends, Joe Abercrombie (Orbit US; Gollancz)
On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, Tina Connolly (Fairwood)
A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)
Vacui Magia, L.S. Johnson (Traversing Z Press)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Ken Liu (Saga; Head of Zeus)

Artist

Greg Bridges
Julie Dillon
Paul Lewin
Jeffrey Alan Love
Victo Ngai

Special Award, Professional

L. Timmel Duchamp, for Aqueduct Press
C.C. Finlay, for editing F&SF
Michael Levy & Farah Mendelsohn, for Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press)
Kelly Link, for contributions to the genre
Joe Monti, for contributions to the genre

Special Award, Non-Professional

Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Neile Graham, for fostering excellence in the genre through her role as Workshop Director, Clarion West
Malcom R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer, for their publication The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume Two: Gods and Goddesses (Michael Publishing)
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny
Brian White, for Fireside Fiction Company


The awards will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention, which this year is November 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/

Headliner guests are Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, Gordon Van Gelder TOASTMASTER: Martha Wells

Catching Up

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:06 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
I went on vacation last week, first actual vacation in a long time. Me, my husband, and two friends went to Galveston Island, which is about a three hour drive away and stayed on the east beach: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163287314212/yesterday-we-got-back-from-three-days-in

We swam everyday, and stood on a sandbar over a hundred yards out in the water and looked at rainstorms out in the gulf. The water was warm in the afternoon, like a giant saltwater spa. We ate a lot of seafood and had margaritas and went out in the harbor in a little boat. It was awesome.

Then yesterday I had jury duty for traffic court, got picked, and everyone there got to tell a mean, angry, scary old white guy clearly used to controlling everything around him that yes, he did have to pay his fine just like everyone else. I don't even know how someone could be this confident in his belief that he can get away with anything, but watching him change his story and lie, and have the woman DA point out the body cam and dash cam video showing he was lying, and Judge Navarro being completely fair yet also bored and unimpressed, and effortlessly cutting off the guy's attempt to rant and swear on the stand. The Judge also made the DA skip over what was probably 20 minutes of video that didn't show anything except that the guy was a terrible person, but believe me, the jury already knew that.

I'm going to try to catch up on book rec posts, and I need to do another Raksura story for my Patreon this month. (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2458567)

TV Bulletin Board

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:22 am
colls: (Default)
[personal profile] colls posting in [community profile] tv_talk
Active DW communities:
*[community profile] theamericans (The Americans)
*[community profile] tori_reviews (DC CW Shows)
[community profile] rocinante (The Expanse)
*[community profile] su_herald (Buffy/Angel - newsletter format)
[community profile] thelibrarians_tv (The Librarians)
*[community profile] xfilesficrecs (X-Files fic/fic recs)
*[community profile] who_at_50 (Doctor Who - 50th anniversary)
*[community profile] scifi_rewatch (Mutliple SFF shows)
*[community profile] sirpatrickstewartnews (TV actor Sir Patrick Stewart)
*[community profile] timeless_lifeboat (Timeless)
*[community profile] shadowhunterstv (Shadowhunters)
[community profile] neilgaiman (American Gods)
*[community profile] earth_final_conflict (Earth: Final Conflict)
*[community profile] killjoys_syfy (Killjoys)
*[community profile] twinpeaks (Twin Peaks)
(* indicates community has new content since last bulletin)
Any other TV comms around DW? Please let me know.

Keeping Track:
sidereel | tv guide | tv calendar (pogdesign) | episode calendar | my episodes | TV Time

Member's Corner:
[personal profile] shadowkat posted (NO SUBJECT)
[personal profile] darthfangirl posted DOCTOR WHO XMAS SPECIAL TRAILER THINGY
**********More member's posts are here
Have one that I didn't link? Feel free to leave it in the comments.

In our own house:
CRIME DRAMA AND POLICE PROCEDURALS

Suggestions and feedback welcome.
sineala: (Avengers: Not tonight)
[personal profile] sineala
Don't mind me; I needed a place to put my Cap-IM Bingo fics. These have all been previously posted.

Card and story list under cut... )

Ta-da!

Solitary places and vast views

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:05 pm
morganmuffle: (tea)
[personal profile] morganmuffle
Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone.


Since [personal profile] seiyaharris and I went to Knole earlier this month I've sort of been rereading Orlando with Knole and everything we heard about Vita & Virginia in mind. It's been slow because I'm accidentally reading about 8 books at once at the moment (well, five books and technically one of those I haven't REALLY started)

I remembered really enjoying it and although it is a strange little book there are so many beautiful lines and sections even before you remember that it's basically a very long love letter.

Today I am quite enjoying the idea of solitary places and vast views. Too many people, too much pressure, and too much uncertainty about my own abilities (from myself, not other people).

Mind you with all of SDCC to catch up plus all the post-Tour opinion pieces AND the news that Michelle Terry is going to be the new Globe AD I've had plenty to keep me interested whilst I'm being solitary.

Dear Crossovering writer or artist

Jul. 24th, 2017 04:09 pm
isis: (gryffindor sheppard)
[personal profile] isis
Dear writer or artist! Thank you for offering to create a fanwork crossing over two of these sources. As long as you generally stick with things I like and avoid things I dislike, I will love your story or artwork even if it doesn't take on any of my prompts, which are only suggestions. I am [archiveofourown.org profile] Isis on AO3.

Some general stuff about my tastes: )

Short version of my requests:

Bloody Jack Adventures/Aubrey-Maturin series
Black Sails/Outlander
Rivers of London/Invisible Library/Witcher
A Song of Ice and Fire/Old Kingdom/Invisible Library/Witcher
David Blaize/The Blue Castle/Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I'm requesting crossover, art or fic for the first four, and crossover or fusion, fic only for the last. For requests with three or four canons, you're only required to use two, but if you have some bright idea involving crossing over more than two canons in a request, go for it!

What I like about the fandoms I've requested: )

Specific crossover and fusion prompts: )

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