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!

New Year's Resolutions as of July 25

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:04 am
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Posted by morbane

In the last four weeks, there have been three works added to the New Year's Resolution collection. Enjoy!

Prelude (1218 words) by primeideal
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pandemic Legacy: Season One
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Undisclosed Character(s)
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, E-mail, Scientific Method
Summary: What happened the winter before.

A Connoisseur of Beauty (1450 words) by Alasse_Irena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: A Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs - Aimee Picchi
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Miss Holst/Miss Mori
Characters: Miss Holst (Collecting Mermaid Love Songs), Miss Mori (Collecting Mermaid Love Songs)
Additional Tags: Pre-Slash
Summary: Miss Holst is interested in the classification of mermaid songs. Miss Mori is interested in the study of beauty.

Aliennaire (23312 words) by aliennaire
Chapters: 4/8
Fandom: Aliens (1986), Alien (1979), Alien Series
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dwayne Hicks/Ellen Ripley, Original Male Character/Original Female Character
Characters: Ellen Ripley, Dwayne Hicks, Irene Hudson, Mark Corrigan, Jonathan Thunders, Kathlyn Delaware, Rebecca "Newt" Jorden, Bishop (Aliens), Cheleska "Lee" Rushinska
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Science Fiction, Action/Adventure, Some theories on Alienverse, Gateway Station, Mysteries and explanations, New Blood, Angst with a Happy Ending, Teamwork, Alien 3 never happened, Space Jockeys, Canon divergence - past/present/future Alien series, Xenomorphs, Weyland-Yutani, Conspiracy, Violence against the underage, Sulaco, Body Horror
Summary:

What would the home-bound Sulaco crew's story be if they unhindered made it to the Earth-orbiting station? What will the once steadfast corporate warrant officer chose in the end, struck with the evil chance of battling her corporeal enemies and deep-seated fears again? Who was the elephantine creature frozen and forgotten in the Derelict ship long time ago?


This story takes place after Jim Cameron's 'Aliens' (1986) on the franchise's timeline and counts in the majority of Alienverse mythological attributes presented by the first two films.


There are some things you'd better not do, and other ones for you to stay unaware of.




Until assignments are sent out (approximately) for Yuletide 2017, the New Year's Resolution collection (2017 edition) is open for writers to submit fics based on prompts from previous Yuletides.

Writers are especially encouraged to write stories for prompts that were not filled during the main Yuletide run.

2016 prompts on AO3
Google spreadsheet of all prompts (thank you to Min)
Database of 2016's Dear Author letters (thank you to lsellersfic)
2016 prompts as a text file
Prompts from 2016's non-signed-up pinch hitters on LJ and on DW
Some Day My Fic Will Come mini-challenge - This challenge is for prompts that are posted year after year after year - see more info at the link!


Fics written for the purpose of re-qualifying for Yuletide must be posted before signing up to Yuletide 2017 (ie, before October 9 and ideally before October 1). They must also be over 1,000 words and written to a previous Yuletide prompt. The fandom in which they are written must still be small enough to qualify for Yuletide (in brief: there are fewer than 1,000 fics each (that are over 1,000 words, in English, and complete) when adding the total fics on AO3 and ff.net).

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: )

The girl went over the mountain

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:01 pm
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Yesterday I ran the Kendall Mountain Run in 3:17:45, making both my goals of a) under 3:30 and b) not falling. I felt a little guilty when I proudly announced my time on Facebook and a few people thought it was a marathon time (26.2 miles), since it's about five minutes under my marathon PR and a plausible result - at least if you didn't know that I haven't been training for a marathon, or that I've had a big slowdown in the past few years. So then I hastily added that it was for a 12-mile race, which immediately had people boggling in the opposite direction, considering my half marathon PR (13.1 miles) is less than half that time! But it becomes more understandable when you see the elevation profile:



The course runs up a freakin' MOUNTAIN. (And back down again.) I didn't take pictures, but for some historical background and video shots of runners on the course (all much faster than me) from previous years, the organizers have put a nifty video on Facebook.

Blathering about the run )

My final statistics were not actually that great. I came in 188th overall out of 236, 62/87 women, 5/6 in my 10-year age group (nearly an hour ahead of #6). Actually there were only four women older than me in the race - the F60-69 AG contained one 68-year-old - and all of them beat me! Oh, well. I have not been running nearly as much as I was back when I regularly ran this type of mountain race, so I'm not really surprised. I'm happy enough that I beat my nominal goal of 3:30, and most especially, that I didn't add any new scabs to those currently healing on my knees!

Now, my legs hurt like you wouldn't believe, though I don't think I actually injured anything, just overused the muscles of my quads and glutes. Hopefully everything will feel good by next Saturday, when we head out into the wilderness for a week of backpacking. Then it will be time to turn my exercise attention to mountain biking in preparation for the Telluride-to-Moab ride in September. But I'll still be running 3-4 days a week, including attending the club track workouts, and hopefully by the time October comes around, I'll be ready to run a decent half marathon, and maybe even sign up for a late fall/early winter marathon.

Remix Revival 2017!

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:48 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by remixrevivalmod

Link: Remix Revival on AO3; follow us on Dreamwidth or Tumblr for reminders and updates.

Description: Remix Revival is a new panfandom remix exchange, welcoming both authors and artists! If you're unfamiliar with remix exchanges, the idea is that you take someone else's fic or art and write/draw it the way you would have. To qualify for Remix Revival, you must have three 500 word fics, five 100 word fics, or three completed drawings in each fandom you request. The minimum wordcount for assignments is 1k, while art must be a complete piece. There will be a Madness round that allows sketches and shorter fics running from September 10-25.

Dates:
Signups begin: July 15 (ongoing now!)
Signups end: July 30 11:59 PM ET
Assignments out by: August 5
Assignments due: September 10, 11:59 PM ET
Collection goes live: September 17
Remixers revealed: September 24



[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by lexigent

Stage of Fools is a fic exchange for the plays of William Shakespeare (with the exception of the Histories). Sign-ups are now open!




Stage of Fools on LJ | Stage of Fools on Dreamwidth

Sign-up post on LJ | Sign-up post on Dreamwidth


Schedule:

Sign-ups: July 22 through August 18, 2017
Assignments go out: around August 20, 2017
Assignments due: October 20, 2017
Madness/prompt claiming time: October 20 through 31 - as soon as all assignments are in, all unwritten prompts will be revealed for everyone to write fic of any length. You don't have to sign up as a Stage of Fools participant to participate in Madness.
Go-live: November 1, 2017
Author reveal: November 5, 2017

race prep (and photos of fun stuff)

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:10 pm
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I haven't been posting in a while, bad me, so you're forgiven if you've forgotten that I'm doing the Kendall Mountain Run tomorrow. I'm a little less prepared than I'd like to be, mostly because I fell really hard while trail running twice in successive weeks, then also fell hard mountain biking, and so I've been more cautious and doing less trail running than I really should have been. But I have been hiking and biking and running!

On top of Graham Peak

Read more and see more photos )

So, tomorrow I am getting up way too early and going up to Silverton (it's about an hour's drive) with a friend who is also running. Now that I've seen what the course is like (we drove the first three miles to get to the trailhead of our late-June overnight backpack) I don't think I can make sub-3; I'm hoping to come in somewhere around 3:30. But my main goal is to NOT FALL.

WEDDING QUILT OMG SO HAPPY

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:11 pm
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
[personal profile] happydork
A few years ago, I watched my BFF, [twitter.com profile] amymariemason, spend a year making a beautiful wedding quilt for a friend of hers. I’m not saying my jealousy was the only reason I married [personal profile] such_heights, but I coveted that quilt, oh my goodness I coveted it so hard.

So when [personal profile] such_heights and I got engaged in August 2014, I asked my BFF if she would, maybe, perhaps, make us a wedding quilt, too?

It’s now July 2017, the wedding quilt is finally finished, and OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN ALL EXISTENCE COME LOOK HOW TALENTED MY BFF IS SHE’S THE GREATEST THIS IS THE GREATEST COME LOOK COME LOOK COME LOOK OMG!

Many photos of the world's greatest quilt )

Wednesday Reading

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:10 am
scordatura: (person: black socks)
[personal profile] scordatura
Hey gang! I'm going to make a life post, as promised, sometime soonish.... probably... (I'm waiting to hear back on a couple of things, SIGH, so fingers crossed I do so soon!!), but for now, Wednesday reading! \o/ An even mix this time around, of stuff I really liked and stuff I... pretty didn't, lmao. :")

Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter
I should have known that p much any super highly praised new literary fiction (the ~voice of our generation!!) would underwhelm me, and I should have known that a book with a Sappho epigraph that stars a hetero romance would be bullshit!!! (In all fairness, there were two lesbians in it! They... were both terrible, but so was everyone else, so.) But yeah, overall... highly underwhelming. I thought the plot of someone working at a restaurant and the drama it involved would be interesting, but the style was super weird (like, that strange slightly false artsy-for-the-sake-of-artsiness excess nonsense a lot of literary fiction tends towards) and the plot made no sense?? I spent like 75% of the book just having no idea why anyone was doing the things they were doing, and I think a large part of it was a first-person narrative from a person who had no personality. Like, every time another character described something about her I was like "news to me!" bc the actual narration did nothing to give me even the remotest idea of what kind of person she was. It just sort of felt like most of the plot happened because... it was happening? And not for any actual reason? All of the food stuff, too, just felt... so weird and pretentious (man, why can't I read a food book with good food descriptions!!), and next to none of the characters were even remotely sympathetic.

I will say this: about 75% of the way through the book, the plot started getting interesting and the characters started behaving in ways that made sense! And I actually felt compelled by the story! Amazing! The ending still felt... very weird, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it, unless you LIKE weird literary fiction nonsense with annoying characters and incomprehensible plot, but it was slightly less terrible than I had previously thought, which is always nice. :")

S. J. Goslee, Whatever
Ugh... man, I really wanted to like this book? Published origfic! So many tropes! But... just... ugh! I couldn't do it. I didn't like the writing style at all; I should have known from the, like, first few chapters just being about the MC getting high and doing nothing that it wouldn't be my jam? Also the book did that thing a lot of debut novels do where they're just... clearly so enamored of every single detail they've thought up that they want to cram as much as possible into the narration, even though it often detracts from the actual narrative and is distracting. Also, like, there was... so much misogyny in the narration?? So much referring to boys as "girls" or "pussies" and I just... mb that's realistic for teenage boys, but it's not what I want to read about?? It's not at all relatable or fun or a character trait I empathize with??

And speaking of which, I didn't like most of the characters-- they felt more like stock high schoolers than actual well-rounded people with legit relationships in which I was meant to be invested. I couldn't get invested in or fond of Mike at all-- he just dicked around SO many people, especially Rook, and I didn't understand his thought process at all. Also I felt like there was a lot of like... nonsense (for lack of a better word, lmao) that was meant to be ~cutesy or relatable but was actually awful and dickish? e.g., Mike's grandmother referring to him being bi as "indecisive," but it's hilarious and great bc she's accepting that he's gay! It's cute that Rook beat up Mike when they were kids bc ~he just wanted an excuse to touch him! (Seriously, Mike was fucking awful to Rook, but I can't believe that past bullying was just never fucking brought up after they kissed??? ??? How is that okay??)

So just... overall, ugh. Not my jam. Not cute or quality or compelling enough to even be fun trash fluff reading. (Also, minor nitpick, but why the heck would you give a character a cool name like "Rook" and then not use it!!! Rude!!)

Sharon Shinn, General Winston's Daughter
A wild reread appears! These have been rare this year! :") But since I'm about to be moving, I didn't want to overwhelm my book selection with stuff I was unsure about, so I went with a lot of fluff and a tried-and-true classic. As you know if you know me at all, you know that I adore everything Sharon Shinn does, and this book is no different-- a gorgeously wrought world, a beautiful love story, a wonderful female lead who grows and changes and has great female friendships... The "imperialism is bad" story arc is, of course, pretty heavy-handed, as such arcs tend to be, lmao, but the plot twist helps to mitigate that somewhat, I think. And I love all of the characters and I love the story, and it's such a good and fun reread that I love coming back to again and again!

Laura Wettersten, My Faire Lady
This book got picked up as one of aforementioned fluff books -- I expected it to be silly YA nonsense, and it sure was, but it was actually surprisingly good overall!! Of course the Renn Faire environment endears me to the entire cast instinctively (GOOD NERDS), but it was just so sweet and good-spirited overall: a lovely found family with great well-rounded characters, a hilarious and relatable lead with so many good friendships, a great story arc about discovering one's dreams, and a genuinely adorable love story with a dude I LOVED (a rarity in YA! :")). I wanna read a sequel or like watch a whole TV series about this, because it had such a lovely sweet cute tone that I just wanted to live in. Would def rec to anyone wanting some high-quality fluff!
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Posted by fgemods

Fandom Growth Exchange Banner

AO3 Profile | Dreamwidth | Tumblr



Nominations are now open for the Fandom Growth Exchange! The Fandom Growth Exchange is a multi-fandom exchange for fandoms, relationships, and characters that have ten or fewer complete fics (or five or fewer contributing authors) on AO3. Check out the tagset!

Nominations close: July 31st at 11:55 PM UTC
Sign-ups open: August 3rd at 11:55 PM UTC
Sign-ups close: August 17th at 11:55 PM UTC
Assignments sent: August 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC
Default deadline: October 8th at 11:55 PM UTC
Assignments due: October 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC
Works revealed: November 3rd at 11:55 PM UTC
Authors revealed: November 8th at 11:55 PM UTC

Thirteen

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:46 am
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
[personal profile] purplefringe
So I did a lot of shrieking yesterday. A lot of capslock on my phone to my friends. I don't even know how to begin writing about it, but I wanted to say something here, that I can look back on.

The thirteenth Doctor is a woman!

Yes, she's still White, and yes, that is absolutely something that we should address. There is still a way to go. But also: she's a woman. After 54 years! And a really wonderful woman at that. I didn't know Jodie Whittaker before Broadchurch, but she was absolutely mesmerising in all three seasons of that show, and I know she's going to be completely amazing. From the bits and pieces I've read from her so far, I know she *gets* the show, and the Doctor, and we are in extremely safe, capable, brilliant hands.

I knew Thirteen wasn't going to be another White Dude. With 100% certainty. And whilst Jodie Whittaker hadn't been particularly on my radar as a contender, I knew that it was not unlikely that they'd cast someone Chibnall had worked with before. But still - that first moment in the trailer when we saw her hand, and then her eye - I felt all the breath knocked out of me. Then I think I may have screamed? It's all a bit of a blur. I certainly screamed a lot for the next hour or so.

I'm going to miss Twelve a LOT. I love him, and I love his beautiful, subtle, expressive face, and his absurd inability to run in a dignified manner. I love his prickly, difficult kindness, and I love his easy forgiveness. I love the way he's grown and evolved as a person more than any of the other Doctors before him. I'm going to miss him terribly, the way I miss them all. But if there was one thing that could make me able to deal with him leaving, it's this. I can't wait. <3

I don't know what the show will look like under Chris Chibnall. Whether it will be closer in tone to Moffat's vision or to Rusty's, or something completely different. As probably anybody who knows me or has read this journal knows, I'm a huge fan of both Moffat and RTD and would fight bears for them both. Yes, even Moffat. I don't think his seasons have been perfect by any means - but I also don't think they have been any more problematic than RTD's seasons. Just differently so. But in both cases, the problematic elements have been, for me, completely outweighed by all the joy and wonderful things they have done. With that in mind, here are a few things I would love to see going forward: Read more... )

...in other news, I already have a vidsong for the Regeneration and I have to wait until Christmas to make it /o\

drabblemania! And other festathons!

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:50 am
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
The second annual Multifandom Drabble Exchange ([community profile] multifandomdrabble) went live yesterday, and I received a gift and a treat:

Summer turns towards Autumn by [archiveofourown.org profile] weakinteraction - The Man in the High Castle (TV), Tagomi and Juliana post-S2. I do wonder what is going to happen in S3 when they eventually meet again, and this is a lovely teaser!

The Visitor by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alona - The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, Mulaghesh gen. I prompted "accidental kitten acquisition" and this made me smile because it's so in character.

I was assigned to write for [archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina:

A New Hobby - Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, Lord John/Stephan von Namtzen (okay, it's really gen, but) in a stealth fusion with an undisclosed fandom. Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.

I also wrote a bunch of treats (all G-rated):

Saucy Wench - Hot Sauces (Anthropomorphic), Cholula/ Tapatío - There's a new girl on the shelf.

My Sin - due South (TV), Frannie Vecchio/Maggie McKenzie - Licking the evidence runs in the family.

Fire - Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff, Teleri(/Connla) - Everyone in the village said they should wed, with their matching crowns of fiery hair.

The Bicycle Rule - The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Receiver gen - It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. (The Giver, chapter 2.)

One More Earthly Pleasure - The Witcher 3 videogame (actually for the DLC Hearts of Stone), Shani and Vlodimir - In which Gaunter O'Dimm doesn't banish Vlodimir at midnight.

Aboard the Psi-Ship Foxway - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, gen - 300 Fox Way IN SPAAACE.

Here are links to the main collection and the treats - a lot of tasty bite-sized fandom bits to sample. My favorite so far unfortunately points up the problem with drabbles - that they are so tiny and can only tell a very limited story - because it's a drabble sequence and therefore encompasses a lot more story than a single 100-word chunk can tell. But it's really amazing:

Forward/Back (500 words) by lalalalalawhy
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Time Traveler/Time Traveler
Characters: Time traveling OCs, Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Drabble, Drabble Sequence
Summary:
I skip through time like a flat stone on a still lake, spending days here, a few hours there, always moving forward. My love is the same, but reverse. Her lake is a mirror of mine. She only ever goes back.
A love story in five drabbles.

In other festathon news, I'm planning on signing up for both [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival, which are both open for sign-ups now! Check 'em out!
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
[personal profile] happydork
I watched A Very British Sex Scandal last night — it’s a great docu-drama made in 2007 about the Wolfenden Report and the Montagu Affair, largely following Peter Wildeblood. The Montagu Affair was a very high profile case in the 1950s in which three men were tried for “homosexual acts” — it’s credited with helping to change public opinion and, eventually, the law. Wildeblood was one of the men tried.

I strongly recommend the film. The docu bit is fascinating — the contributors are queer men born in the 20s and 30s who watched this all play out, including, rather amazingly, Lord Montagu himself.

The drama bit is sweet, compelling, understated, and doesn’t take too many liberties. I was also particularly touched by the context-setting voiceover, which provided us with such gems as, “In 1952 The Daily Mail was a serious establishment newspaper. Its opinions were highly respectable.”

After watching the film, I immediately bought Peter Wildeblood’s Against the Law, first published in 1959, which is largely about Wildeblood’s experiences of being gay, the Montagu Affair, and Wildeblood’s subsequent time in prison. In it he argues equally hard for the decriminalisation of homosexual acts and for penal reform in general. It’s reckoned to be the first sympathetic book about male homosexuality to reach a wide audience in Britain.

It’s hard to overstate how brilliant and brave this book is, and I would have loved it for that no matter how it was written — but it’s also such a clear, spare, honest, witty, engaging piece of writing, one that leaves me feeling both in breathless awe of this hero of a man and, at the same time, like it’s only an accident of space and time that we aren’t friends. When I finished it, I missed him.

Yes, so, I fucking love this book and I recommend it even more strongly than the docu-drama. (I think there’s a new docu-drama coming out pretty soon, actually, called Against the Law? AVBSS was made for the 40th anniversary of decriminalisation, and AtL is for the 50th anniversary. So if you’re only going to watch the one docu-drama, you’ll soon have a choice.)

My version has an intro written by Matthew Parris which I liked a lot and found very interesting but at the same time ended up disagreeing with quite strongly in places. (Which is, tbf, my normal reaction to Matthew Parris.) If you get the same version, I’d suggest not reading the intro until after you’ve read the book itself.

I also wanted to share with you the absolute gut punch I got when reading the very opening paragraph of the book.

Sometimes, when a man is dying, he directs that his body shall be given to the doctors, so that the causes of his suffering and death may be investigated, and the knowledge used to help others. I cannot give my body yet; only my heart and my mind, and trust that by this gift I can give some hope and courage to other men like myself, and to the rest of the world some understanding.


It’s. I don’t know. I read that, and I was struck by how very different it was from David Wojnarowicz’s If I die of AIDS - forget burial - just drop my body on the steps of the FDA — but at the same time, by how strong the thread is that connects them.

February 2017

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