FMK #18: Writers of Color

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 19:11
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

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 19:25
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.

ObWeekly Post v.3.1: Sick Again Edition

Monday, 24 July 2017 10:00
tatterpixie: senile agitation (pissed)
[personal profile] tatterpixie
Ugh. So somehow I came down with ANOTHER headcold on Monday. It hit really hard and sudden, like being run over by a bus. Luckily it left just as quickly, leaving me with YET ANOTHER lingering deep cough. Ugh. I'm tired of being sick -- I think it must have been the stress of all the travel catching up with me. I really need to start consuming more probiotics or something, cause something clearly is compromising my immune system.

Speaking of sick, the main AC in the lower part of the house died on Sunday. I don't think it can be repaired. Ugh. Angie's dad is supposed to come over at some point and look at it, so I may be wrong. But I really fear I'm not. It sounded like the main motor died --it had been making horrible noises for a few days, then Sunday it just stopped blowing air and wound down. UGH. We have fans going and if worse comes to worse we can retreat to our rooms and the window AC units there, but still.

WeatherDork:
Currently at Bethlehem, PA at 9.57am: Overcast
Temp: 72F (feels like 72F)
Humidity: 76% (dewpoint 64F)
Pressure: 29.78"
Winds: NNE 10mph
Forecast: Partly sunny, chance of PM thunderstorms, high 81F, low 65F

Hot and humid were the words for last week. Ugh. Temps were well up into the 90s with heat indices near 100F. We got some rain in the form of storms, but they didn't do anything to knock either the heat or the humidity down. This week is supposed to be more moderate, with highs in the low 80s and upper 70s. Better than subtropical XD ESPECIALLY WITH THE DAMN AC OUT.

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • From One Trickster to Another (ItNotM)
  • Some Light Research (ItNotM)
  • Putting The Band Together (ItNotM)
  • All On A Summer's Day (ItNotM)
  • Options (ItNotM) x2
  • ORP -- PUFFS v. STUFFS (ItNotM)
  • [needs title] (ItNotM) x4
Art:
  • continue with scribalry practice
Etc:
  • list stuff on Ebay
  • reading: A New History of the Picts (still -- I haven't picked it up in awhile XD)
  • reading: Parsival, or A Knight's Tale
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: nothing
  • Thing Writed: OMG TAGS
  • Thing Cleaned: dishes and catbox and watered plants
Need to do laundry this week, and maybe I'll have more brain to art and tag and generally be productive. Ugh. And hopefully we'll get a new AC.
elf: Anime-ish version of elf: long cyan hair, glasses (Anime me)
[personal profile] elf
Nice ending to the month. Also, nice topic for today - tomorrow I start the new job, so a moment to reflect on self-identity is not a bad idea.

Bitch | Out of Control | Everybody's Moon | One More Time to Live | I'm Going to Go Back There Someday | Cloudy | No Rain | Live to Tell | Kiss Off | It Just Won't Quit

I bought this one when it was on the charts; still have the album on vinyl. )

Meme list
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Didn't I already do this one? Like, twice? Wait; this list has both "preteen years" and "childhood" songs - am I supposed to consider those as two separate, distinct categories? Does "preteen" mean 10-13 and "childhood" mean before that? If that's the case, then I messed up the "preteen" thing, because from where I am now, that's an awfully narrow slice to try to sort out. I mean, there are plenty of online lists that could help me put songs into the before-and-after 10th birthday groupings, or whatever it intended, but I'm really not going there.

But okay; I do actually have a playlist of "early childhood" songs, so I can grab a few from there. Even though several of them are TV show theme songs.

...omg, there's a whole generation who doesn't understand how nerve-wracking it was to watch them never get off that damn island.

Tom Dooley | I Wish I Was a Teddy Bear | Ballad of Gilligan's Island | Seasons in the Sun | Welcome Back | Queen of the Silver Dollar | The Aba Daba Honeymoon | Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Manah Manah was not my favorite back then. )

Meme list
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Oh good. Back to song topics that don't make me want to rip my hair out.

Had to stop and think about this one, because "love the voice" is not high on my priority lists for songs I enjoy most. But for a long time, I listed my favorite type of music as "anything with a baritone voice and acoustic guitar."

What You Need | Dance Magic | I'm on Fire | Love Is Chemical | Holly Holy | Wherefore and Why | Stay Young | The Warrior | Rainy Days & Mondays | Delta Dawn | It's So Easy

And one where the vocals are so pretty, I almost forget that I love the lyrics, too )

Meme list
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list

FMK: Mélusine and Juniper Time

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:50
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Mélusine by Sarah Monette is a very long, very good, very fucked-up H/C darkfic in a canon I don't know.

That's not necessarily a criticism, by the way, it's enough my id that I have spent many a delightful lost weekend voluntarily reading exactly that sort of thing.

Read more... )

Anyway, I enjoyed it enough that it is getting kept (after all, some day I might not be able to find fanfic like this on the internet anymore) but I don't think I care enough about the non-id parts to go looking up the canon. (If I did I would probably just end up really liking Shannon, anyway, and like I said it's really obvious there is like 0 fic about him.)

And still very annoyed that it had exactly nothing to do with Mélusine; if someone tried to name a fantasy novel Cinderella and then not have anything to do with Cinderella except, like, the ruling family having a shoe in their heraldry and also there was a fairy godmother as a minor character in one chapter, nobody would let you get away with that.

Also, it got me re-reading a bunch of old Doctor/Master fic just in time for me to be mildly optimistic about the show again, so there's that.


Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm was not a bad book, and I'm glad I read it, but I also don't think I need to keep it, and I didn't particularly like it. It gets the "if you like this sort of thing, this is probably the sort of thing you will like" rating, with a caveat for me being unsure about its portrayal of First Nations people. The first thing that struck me is that it didn't feel like a SF novel, or even a genre novel at all really. I spent a lot of time thinking about why. It's a story about the building of an international space station and first contact with aliens set amid the collapse of Western capitalist civilization, so it ought to be an SF novel. It's definitely at least partly just the writing style. But I think it's mostly a question of what the book thinks is important, fr. ex: not the space station or the aliens or even particularly the collapse of civilization except as they affect the two main characters' many personal issues, which are the only thing the narrative actually seems to think we might be interested in. Whic isn't to say I don't like a character-focused SF novel, but an SF novel where one of the main characters is an astronomer who spends half his time in space, a) I would expect it to spend more than five pages actually in space, and b) I would expect him to not spend all of those five pages thinking about nothing but his marital issues. Also, you know, I 100% don't care about the dude's personal issues and am only mildly interested in hers.

Read more... )

I am glad I have read this but am pretty sure I will never desire to read it again, so K pile it is. And it inspired me to finish Always Coming Home, so it was definitely worth it.

FMK #17: Humorous SF

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 17:51
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's winner was Enchantress From the Stars! Looking forward to it. From discussion in the comments, I think I attempted to write that story once when I was about twelve.

The loser on overall K votes was Pebble in the Sky, but I'm invoking the rule that says a K winner must also have a majority for K votes, which Pebble in the Sky didn't have, and giving it to the Stasheff instead.

(I also just noticed that I never announced a K for the LGBT-themed week. No book in that poll had a majority of K votes - or anything close to a majority, even - so I'm not calling a K. The overall most K votes was the David Gerrold book, but it had almost twice as many f/m votes as K, so I have added it to the F pile instead.)

Responses to Mélusine and Juniper Time coming later today, I promise.

This week, a friend assigned me Humorous SF, so here we go!

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. That will leave me only four books behind, whoo.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Brust, Dickson, Doctorow, Foster, Gardner, Hines, Jones, Laumer, Martinez, Moore J, Moore MJ, Pinkwater, Pratchett, Robinson, anthologies )
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Rainbow Fairy)
[personal profile] elf
I'm not sure what I'll come up with for this. I've recently gotten pretty cynical about the whole idea of falling in love, after the emotional labor thread at Metafilter. It covered a whole lot of ground (like, near half a million words of ground) about how relationships often work, and how it's usually assumed to be the woman's job to keep track of everyone's feelings and steer those feelings in directions that make the relationship stronger. Since then, I'm not sure if I've been in a state where I wanted to feel compelled to set my own interests aside for the purpose of strengthening a relationship, even one that makes me happy.

I went looking for songlists, as I've been doing, to spark my memories. There are no song lists for "strong women in love." There are countless love song lists, and there are "female empowerment" lists (there is, apparently, basically no such thing as "male empowerment"), but nobody combines those ideas. There's a lot of love songs I like, but very few that make me "want to fall in love." Even these, I'm not sure are correct, but at least they don't carry any "nope nope nope; I am so done with that game" vibes for me.

It Must Be Love (Rickie Lee Jones) | Circles (Captain and Tennille) | Innocent Man (Billy Joel) | In a Big Country (Big Country) | Like a Prayer (Madonna) | Country Bumpkin (Loretta Lynn)

And the only one that actually brings me happy thoughts about a hypothetical relationship )

Meme list

ObWeekly Post v.3.1: Rant Edition

Monday, 17 July 2017 10:45
tatterpixie: senile agitation (pissed)
[personal profile] tatterpixie
So I went on a bit of a rant to online friends and my poor patient roommate Angie about tracing as it applies to SCA scroll production. Like, the person in question claims they can't draw, yet they want to pursue an activity that almost requires that one draw. It would make sense they would want to learn to draw, right? No, they are practically married to their light pad. Tracing to me is a cheat -- it's great as a learning tool, but to consistently and regularly trace even the simplest clipart and get praised for it when other people are working hard to learn and reproduce the medieval art form... That's just wrong to me. Vented to my Laurel, who agrees, and who also advised me to just "do me" and not let it bother me. Good advice from the boss. ^__^

Other than that, it was a quiet week. Sketched out a practice piece for trying a new-to-me scribal painting style, did some Moonshop sketchery too (I'm thinking of trying out to be a shop artist XD), watched Wimbledon and footie and Formula 1 racing, gamed with friends online for the first time in forever (Mouse Guard is a lot of fun!). Pretty good week!

WeatherDork:
Currently at Bethlehem, PA at 10.40: Clear
Temp: 82F (feels like 84F)
Humidity: 60% (dewpoint 67F)
Pressure: 30.04"
Winds: SE 5mph
Forecast: Partly sunny, chance of thunderstorms this afternoon, high 85F, low 67F

Geez was it hot last week. Hot and humid and gross. The thunderstorms only helped a little, and temporarily. This week promises more of the same. Ugh.

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • A Smile and a Song (Three Wishes)
  • Where The Gods Live (Three Wishes)
  • From One Trickster to Another (ItNotM)
  • Some Light Research (ItNotM)
  • Welcome Home (ItNotM)
  • Putting The Band Together (ItNotM)
  • All On A Summer's Day (ItNotM)
  • Options (ItNotM)
  • ORP -- PUFFS v. STUFFS (ItNotM) x5
Art:
  • continue with scribalry practice
Etc:
  • list stuff on Ebay
  • reading: A New History of the Picts (still -- I haven't picked it up in awhile XD)
  • reading: Parsival, or A Knight's Tale
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: various sketchery
  • Thing Writed: OMG TAGS
  • Thing Cleaned: dishes and catbox and watered plants and scrubbed bog
More wording and arting this week, and staying inside from the heat!
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
Oh wow; this is an iiiinteresting category. Lemme share some of the contents of my "DUMPSTER FIRE 2016" playlist, which is a set of songs by artists who died last year. (I have a whole playlist of songs by artists who died the year we got POTUS45. The only reason it's not longer is that some of them aren't on Spotify. In the future, I wouldn't be surprised if we blot 2016 out of calendars.)

The Heat is On | Little Red Corvette | You Want It Darker | September | Rebel Rebel | Lucky Man | Big City | Faith

2016 was a horrible year to be a celebrity. )

Meme list
elf: Grateful Dead Steal Your Face with sun & moon (Steal Your Face)
[personal profile] elf
I think it'd be cheating if I included bands that only "broke up" because somebody died, so... no Queen, no Grateful Dead. But I'm not limiting myself to bands whose original members are all still alive, because I am at least bordering on "old," and most of the bands I loved are missing at least one original member. (And because I went looking for lists of "great bands that broke up" because I don't keep track of these things, and I've never heard of most of the bands on the lists.) However, I think it'd be extra-cheating to list anything by the Beatles because I can't honestly say I wish they were together as they are know; I've seen too many zombie AU fanfics already.

Also I went looking for the details about several bands I thought had broken up and discovered that many of them had gotten back together in some way, and several of them are still recording. (Supertramp is still active. Huh.)

White Rabbit | Gimme Gimme Gimme | Vacation | Peaceful Easy Feeling | Come Dancing | Anarchy in the UK

One of the few bands I've seen in concert - well, I've seen the abridged version of the band. )

Meme list
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
[personal profile] elf
Ooh, that's a bold claim. Hrm. I am tempted to rattle off half the songs on the "Firestorm" album, on the grounds that everyone should know some survivalist teaching songs. I'm also trying to remember songs I dragged out for my kids and said, "you will listen to this; it is important to your education and understanding the culture of your people and I am not raising antisocial numb-witted jerks here, so you are going to hear this song and whether or not you like it, you are going to damn well be ENRICHED by it."

There aren't actually a lot of those. And most of them are at least somewhat in the filk genre.

Old Time Religion (the filk version) | Little Fuzzy Animals | Velveteen | Badger Badger Badger Badger | Black Powder and Alcohol | Cranes over Hiroshima

I really wanted Black Powder to be the video, but then I remembered this one. )

Meme list

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kiraleen: (Default)
Kira

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